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J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2013 Dec;20(e2):e267-74. doi: 10.1136/amiajnl-2013-001865. Epub 2013 Jul 25.

Patient-tailored prioritization for a pediatric care decision support system through machine learning.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Computer Science, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Over 8 years, we have developed an innovative computer decision support system that improves appropriate delivery of pediatric screening and care. This system employs a guidelines evaluation engine using data from the electronic health record (EHR) and input from patients and caregivers. Because guideline recommendations typically exceed the scope of one visit, the engine uses a static prioritization scheme to select recommendations. Here we extend an earlier idea to create patient-tailored prioritization.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

We used Bayesian structure learning to build networks of association among previously collected data from our decision support system. Using area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve (AUC) as a measure of discriminability (a sine qua non for expected value calculations needed for prioritization), we performed a structural analysis of variables with high AUC on a test set. Our source data included 177 variables for 29 402 patients.

RESULTS:

The method produced a network model containing 78 screening questions and anticipatory guidance (107 variables total). Average AUC was 0.65, which is sufficient for prioritization depending on factors such as population prevalence. Structure analysis of seven highly predictive variables reveals both face-validity (related nodes are connected) and non-intuitive relationships.

DISCUSSION:

We demonstrate the ability of a Bayesian structure learning method to 'phenotype the population' seen in our primary care pediatric clinics. The resulting network can be used to produce patient-tailored posterior probabilities that can be used to prioritize content based on the patient's current circumstances.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study demonstrates the feasibility of EHR-driven population phenotyping for patient-tailored prioritization of pediatric preventive care services.

KEYWORDS:

Bayesian analysis; clinical decision support; data mining; pediatrics; phenotype

PMID:
23886921
PMCID:
PMC3861915
DOI:
10.1136/amiajnl-2013-001865
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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