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In Journal of biomedical informatics ; h5-index 55.0

Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) contain clinical narrative text that is of great potential value to medical researchers. However, this information is mixed with Personally Identifiable Information (PII) that presents risks to patient and clinician confidentiality. This paper presents an end-to-end de-identification framework to automatically remove PII from Australian hospital discharge summaries. Our corpus included 600 hospital discharge summaries which were extracted from the EMRs of two principal referral hospitals in Sydney, Australia. Our end-to-end de-identification framework consists of three components: 1) Annotation: labelling of PII in the 600 hospital discharge summaries using five pre-defined categories: person, address, date of birth, individual identification number, phone/fax number; 2) Modelling: training six named entity recognition (NER) deep learning base-models on balanced and imbalanced datasets; and evaluating ensembles that combine all six base-models, the three base-models with the best F1 scores and the three base-models with the best recall scores respectively, using token-level majority voting and stacking methods; and 3) De-identification: removing PII from the hospital discharge summaries. Our results showed that the ensemble model combined using the stacking Support Vector Machine (SVM) method on the three base-models with the best F1 scores achieved excellent results with a F1 score of 99.16% on the test set of our corpus. We also evaluated the robustness of our modelling component on the 2014 i2b2 de-identification dataset. Our ensemble model, which uses the token-level majority voting method on all six base-models, achieved the highest F1 score of 96.24% at strict entity matching and the highest F1 score of 98.64% at binary token-level matching compared to two state-of-the-art methods. The end-to-end framework provides a robust solution to de-identifying clinical narrative corpuses safely. It can easily be applied to any kind of clinical narrative documents.

Liu Leibo, Perez-Concha Oscar, Nguyen Anthony, Bennett Vicki, Jorm Louisa


De-identification, Deep learning, Hospital discharge summaries, Named entity recognition, Natural language processing