Discordance between physicians and coders in assignment of diagnoses.
OBJECTIVE: To measure concordance between physicians and medical record coders in their assignment of diagnoses. DESIGN: Prospective cohort series. SETTING: Five hundred and fifty-bed, tertiary-care, university teaching hospital. Study participants. In-patients who were discharged from either the Cardiac Sciences Program (n=125), the Renal Program (n=43), or the HIV-AIDS Program (n=25) during the period May 18-July 1, 1995. INTERVENTIONS: None. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Physicians and coders assigned diagnoses for individual in-patients based on their independent interpretations of the patient chart and discharge summary sheet. All assigned diagnoses were coded using the ICD-9-CM classification system. Concordance was measured for the most responsible diagnosis and for all assigned diagnoses. Difference in calculated resource intensity weights based on physicians' and coders' assignment of diagnoses was also calculated. RESULTS: Concordance rates for the most responsible diagnosis in each program were: Cardiac Sciences [27%; 95% confidence interval (CI)=20-36%], Renal Program (35%; 95% CI=21-53%), and HIV-AIDS Program (20%; 95% CI, 6-41%). Concordance rates for all diagnoses per chart were similar: Cardiac Sciences (20%; 95% CI, 14-25%), Renal Program (25%; 95% CI, 20-33%), and HIV-AIDS Program (29%; 95% CI, 25-44%). Resource intensity weights assigned by coders for the Cardiac Sciences and HIV-AIDS Program were significantly higher than those assigned by the physicians. (+info)
An object-oriented taxonomy of medical data presentations.
A variety of methods have been proposed for presenting medical data visually on computers. Discussion of and comparison among these methods have been hindered by a lack of consistent terminology. A taxonomy of medical data presentations based on object-oriented user interface principles is presented. Presentations are divided into five major classes-list, table, graph, icon, and generated text. These are subdivided into eight subclasses with simple inheritance and four subclasses with multiple inheritance. The various subclasses are reviewed and examples are provided. Issues critical to the development and evaluation of presentations are also discussed. (+info)
Content-based retrieval in picture archiving and communication systems.
A COntent-Based Retrieval Architecture (COBRA) for picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) is introduced. COBRA improves the diagnosis, research, and training capabilities of PACS systems by adding retrieval by content features to those systems. COBRA is an open architecture based on widely used health care and technology standards. In addition to regular PACS components, COBRA includes additional components to handle representation, storage, and content-based similarity retrieval. Within COBRA, an anatomy classification algorithm is introduced to automatically classify PACS studies based on their anatomy. Such a classification allows the use of different segmentation and image-processing algorithms for different anatomies. COBRA uses primitive retrieval criteria such as color, texture, shape, and more complex criteria including object-based spatial relations and regions of interest. A prototype content-based retrieval system for MR brain images was developed to illustrate the concepts introduced in COBRA. (+info)
EDGAR: extraction of drugs, genes and relations from the biomedical literature.
EDGAR (Extraction of Drugs, Genes and Relations) is a natural language processing system that extracts information about drugs and genes relevant to cancer from the biomedical literature. This automatically extracted information has remarkable potential to facilitate computational analysis in the molecular biology of cancer, and the technology is straightforwardly generalizable to many areas of biomedicine. This paper reports on the mechanisms for automatically generating such assertions and on a simple application, conceptual clustering of documents. The system uses a stochastic part of speech tagger, generates an underspecified syntactic parse and then uses semantic and pragmatic information to construct its assertions. The system builds on two important existing resources: the MEDLINE database of biomedical citations and abstracts and the Unified Medical Language System, which provides syntactic and semantic information about the terms found in biomedical abstracts. (+info)
Technology architecture guidelines for a health care system.
Although the demand for use of information technology within the healthcare industry is intensifying, relatively little has been written about guidelines to optimize IT investments. A technology architecture is a set of guidelines for technology integration within an enterprise. The architecture is a critical tool in the effort to control information technology (IT) operating costs by constraining the number of technologies supported. A well-designed architecture is also an important aid to integrating disparate applications, data stores and networks. The authors led the development of a thorough, carefully designed technology architecture for a large and rapidly growing health care system. The purpose and design criteria are described, as well as the process for gaining consensus and disseminating the architecture. In addition, the processes for using, maintaining, and handling exceptions are described. The technology architecture is extremely valuable to health care organizations both in controlling costs and promoting integration. (+info)
A framework for an institutional high level security policy for the processing of medical data and their transmission through the Internet.
BACKGROUND: The Internet provides many advantages when used for interaction and data sharing among health care providers, patients, and researchers. However, the advantages provided by the Internet come with a significantly greater element of risk to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information. It is therefore essential that Health Care Establishments processing and exchanging medical data use an appropriate security policy. OBJECTIVE: To develop a High Level Security Policy for the processing of medical data and their transmission through the Internet, which is a set of high-level statements intended to guide Health Care Establishment personnel who process and manage sensitive health care information. METHODS: We developed the policy based on a detailed study of the existing framework in the EU countries, USA, and Canada, and on consultations with users in the context of the Intranet Health Clinic project. More specifically, this paper has taken into account the major directives, technical reports, law, and recommendations that are related to the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data, and the protection of privacy and medical data on the Internet. RESULTS: We present a High Level Security Policy for Health Care Establishments, which includes a set of 7 principles and 45 guidelines detailed in this paper. The proposed principles and guidelines have been made as generic and open to specific implementations as possible, to provide for maximum flexibility and adaptability to local environments. The High Level Security Policy establishes the basic security requirements that must be addressed to use the Internet to safely transmit patient and other sensitive health care information. CONCLUSIONS: The High Level Security Policy is primarily intended for large Health Care Establishments in Europe, USA, and Canada. It is clear however that the general framework presented here can only serve as reference material for developing an appropriate High Level Security Policy in a specific implementation environment. When implemented in specific environments, these principles and guidelines must also be complemented by measures, which are more specific. Even when a High Level Security Policy already exists in an institution, it is advisable that the management of the Health Care Establishment periodically revisits it to see whether it should be modified or augmented. (+info)
Computational and experimental identification of C. elegans microRNAs.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) constitute an extensive class of noncoding RNAs that are thought to regulate the expression of target genes via complementary base-pair interactions. To date, cloning has identified over 200 miRNAs from diverse eukaryotic organisms. Despite their success, such biochemical approaches are skewed toward identifying abundant miRNAs, unlike genome-wide, sequence-based computational predictions. We developed informatic methods to predict miRNAs in the C. elegans genome using sequence conservation and structural similarity to known miRNAs and generated 214 candidates. We confirmed the expression of four new miRNAs by Northern blotting and used a more sensitive PCR approach to verify the expression of ten additional candidates. Based on hypotheses underlying our computational methods, we estimate that the C. elegans genome may encode between 140 and 300 miRNAs and potentially many more. (+info)
The findings--diagnosis continuum: implications for image descriptions and clinical databases.
As part of the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) project, we have been exploring the use of semantic net representation to build a medical ontology that can adapt to the needs and perspective of differing kinds of users with varying purposes. A principal objective is to facilitate indexing and retrieval of objects in a variety of target databases, using their own source vocabularies, while maintaining the representation of concepts to which these source vocabularies refer in a single consistent form, so that retrievals that span resource types can be accommodated. In addition, a particular area of deficiency of the existing UMLS Metathesaurus is that of clinical findings, a part of the problem being the multiple alternative views and granularity levels at which clinical findings are described in different target databases. The problem is particularly obvious when one examines the way in which image findings are described, which may be at a purely perceptual level, or at varying levels of aggregation into higher level observations or interpretations. We have developed a recursive model for representing observations and interpretations in a semantic net along a continuum of degree of aggregation, that appears to lend itself well to adaptation to varying perspectives. (+info)