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Analysis of Unstructured Text-Based Data Using Machine Learning Techniques: The Case of Pediatric Emergency Department Records in Nicaragua

Analysis of Unstructured Text-Based Data Using Machine Learning Techniques: The Case of Pediatric Emergency Department Records in Nicaragua

Medical Care Research and Review 2019: 1077558719844123

Free-text information is still widely used in emergency department (ED) records. Machine learning techniques are useful for analyzing narratives, but they have been used mostly for English-language data sets. Considering such a framework, the performance of an ML classification task of a Spanish-language ED visits database was tested. ED visits collected in the EDs of nine hospitals in Nicaragua were analyzed. Spanish-language, free-text discharge diagnoses were considered in the analysis. Five-hundred random forests were trained on a set of bootstrap samples of the whole data set (1,789 ED visits) to perform the classification task. For each one, after having identified optimal parameter value, the final validated model was trained on the whole bootstrapped data set and tested. The classification accuracies had a median of 0.783 (95% CI [0.779, 0.796]). Machine learning techniques seemed to be a promising opportunity for the exploitation of unstructured information reported in ED records in low- and middle-income Spanish-speaking countries.

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Accession: 066731859

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 31030615

DOI: 10.1177/1077558719844123

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