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AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2012;2012:505-11. Epub 2012 Nov 3.

Risk stratification of ICU patients using topic models inferred from unstructured progress notes.

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Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology, USA.


We propose a novel approach for ICU patient risk stratification by combining the learned "topic" structure of clinical concepts (represented by UMLS codes) extracted from the unstructured nursing notes with physiologic data (from SAPS-I) for hospital mortality prediction. We used Hierarchical Dirichlet Processes (HDP), a non-parametric topic modeling technique, to automatically discover "topics" as shared groups of co-occurring UMLS clinical concepts. We evaluated the potential utility of the inferred topic structure in predicting hospital mortality using the nursing notes of 14,739 adult ICU patients (mortality 14.6%) from the MIMIC II database. Our results indicate that learned topic structure from the first 24-hour ICU nursing notes significantly improved the performance of the SAPS-I algorithm for hospital mortality prediction. The AUC for predicting hospital mortality from the first 24 hours of physiologic data and nursing text notes was 0.82. Using the physiologic data alone with the SAPS-I algorithm, an AUC of 0.72 was achieved. Thus, the clinical topics that were extracted and used to augment the SAPS-I algorithm significantly improved the performance of the baseline algorithm.

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