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Study examines use of a natural language processing tool for electronic health records in assessing colonoscopy quality
Date:6/21/2012

OAK BROOK, Ill. JUNE 21, 2012 A new study shows that natural language processing programs can "read" dictated reports and provide information to allow measurement of colonoscopy quality in an inexpensive, automated and efficient manner. The quality variation observed in the study within a single academic hospital system reinforces the need for routine quality measurement. The study appears in the June issue of GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE).

Gastroenterology specialty societies have advocated that providers routinely assess their performance on colonoscopy quality measures. Such routine measurement has been hampered by the costs and time required to manually review colonoscopy and pathology reports. Natural language processing (NLP) is a field of computer science in which programs are trained to extract relevant information from text reports in an automated fashion.

"Routine measurement is not taking place, primarily because of the inconvenience and expense. Measuring adenoma detection rates and other quality measures typically requires manual review of colonoscopy and pathology reports. To address the difficulty in measuring physician quality, we developed the first NLPbased computer software application for measuring performance on colonoscopy quality indicators," said study lead author Ateev Mehrotra, MD, MPH, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine. "Our study highlights the potential for NLP to evaluate performance on colonoscopy quality measures in an inexpensive and automated manner. This type of routine quality measurement can be the foundation for efforts to improve colonoscopy quality."

Colonoscopy is a cost-effective and common method of screening for colorectal cancer. However, colonoscopy may be imperfect in screening because, among other reasons, physicians miss adenomas, the precursors to colorec
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Contact: Anne Brownsey
abrownsey@asge.org
630-570-5635
American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Source:Eurekalert

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