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Bates J, Fodeh SJ, Brandt CA, Womack JA. Classification of radiology reports for falls in an HIV study cohort. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA. 2016 Apr 1; 23(e1):e113-7.
OBJECTIVE: To identify patients in a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) study cohort who have fallen by applying supervised machine learning methods to radiology reports of the cohort. METHODS: We used the Veterans Aging Cohort Study Virtual Cohort (VACS-VC), an electronic health record-based cohort of 146?530 veterans for whom radiology reports were available (N = 2?977?739). We created a reference standard of radiology reports, represented each report by a feature set of words and Unified Medical Language System concepts, and then developed several support vector machine (SVM) classifiers for falls. We compared mutual information (MI) ranking and embedded feature selection approaches. The SVM classifier with MI feature selection was chosen to classify all radiology reports in VACS-VC. RESULTS: Our SVM classifier with MI feature selection achieved an area under the curve score of 97.04 on the test set. When applied to all the radiology reports in VACS-VC, 80?416 of these reports were classified as positive for a fall. Of these, 11?484 were associated with a fall-related external cause of injury code (E-code) and 68?932 were not, corresponding to 29?280 patients with potential fall-related injuries who could not have been found using E-codes. DISCUSSION: Feature selection was crucial to improving the classifier''s performance. Feature selection with MI allowed us to select the number of discriminative features to use for classification, in contrast to the embedded feature selection method, in which the number of features is chosen automatically. CONCLUSION: Machine learning is an effective method of identifying patients who have suffered a fall. The development of this classifier supplements the clinical researcher''s toolkit and reduces dependence on under-coded structured electronic health record data.