Assessing stroke severity using electronic health record data: a machine learning approach

Published on 2020-01-09T05:47:37Z (GMT) by
Abstract Background Stroke severity is an important predictor of patient outcomes and is commonly measured with the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) scores. Because these scores are often recorded as free text in physician reports, structured real-world evidence databases seldom include the severity. The aim of this study was to use machine learning models to impute NIHSS scores for all patients with newly diagnosed stroke from multi-institution electronic health record (EHR) data. Methods NIHSS scores available in the Optum© de-identified Integrated Claims-Clinical dataset were extracted from physician notes by applying natural language processing (NLP) methods. The cohort analyzed in the study consists of the 7149 patients with an inpatient or emergency room diagnosis of ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, or transient ischemic attack and a corresponding NLP-extracted NIHSS score. A subset of these patients (n = 1033, 14%) were held out for independent validation of model performance and the remaining patients (n = 6116, 86%) were used for training the model. Several machine learning models were evaluated, and parameters optimized using cross-validation on the training set. The model with optimal performance, a random forest model, was ultimately evaluated on the holdout set. Results Leveraging machine learning we identified the main factors in electronic health record data for assessing stroke severity, including death within the same month as stroke occurrence, length of hospital stay following stroke occurrence, aphagia/dysphagia diagnosis, hemiplegia diagnosis, and whether a patient was discharged to home or self-care. Comparing the imputed NIHSS scores to the NLP-extracted NIHSS scores on the holdout data set yielded an R2 (coefficient of determination) of 0.57, an R (Pearson correlation coefficient) of 0.76, and a root-mean-squared error of 4.5. Conclusions Machine learning models built on EHR data can be used to determine proxies for stroke severity. This enables severity to be incorporated in studies of stroke patient outcomes using administrative and EHR databases.

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Kogan, Emily; Twyman, Kathryn; Heap, Jesse; Milentijevic, Dejan; Lin, Jennifer; Alberts, Mark (2020): Assessing stroke severity using electronic health record data: a machine learning approach. figshare. Collection.