Chen Y, Ghosh J, Bejan CA, Gunter CA, Gupta S, Kho A, Liebovitz D, Sun J, Denny J, Malin B. Building bridges across electronic health record systems through inferred phenotypic topics. Journal of biomedical informatics. 2015 Jun;55(55). 82-93. PMID: 25841328 [PubMed] PMCID: PMC4464930 NIHMSID: NIHMS677489.
Data in electronic health records (EHRs) is being increasingly leveraged for secondary uses, ranging from biomedical association studies to comparative effectiveness. To perform studies at scale and transfer knowledge from one institution to another in a meaningful way, we need to harmonize the phenotypes in such systems. Traditionally, this has been accomplished through expert specification of phenotypes via standardized terminologies, such as billing codes. However, this approach may be biased by the experience and expectations of the experts, as well as the vocabulary used to describe such patients. The goal of this work is to develop a data-driven strategy to (1) infer phenotypic topics within patient populations and (2) assess the degree to which such topics facilitate a mapping across populations in disparate healthcare systems.