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Using computer modeling to help identify patient subgroups in clinical data repositories.
OBJECTIVE: The ability to accurately and efficiently identify patient cases of interest in a hospital information system has many important clinical, research, educational and administrative uses. The identification of cases of interest sometimes can be difficult. This paper describes a two-stage method for searching for cases of interest.
DESIGN: First, a Boolean search is performed using coded database variables. The user classifies the retrieved cases as being of interest or not. Second, based on the user-classified cases, a computer model of the patient cases of interest is constructed. The model is then used to help locate additional cases. These cases provide an augmented training set for constructing a new computer model of the cases of interest. This cycle of modeling and user classification continues until halted by the user.
MEASUREMENTS: This paper describes a pilot study in which this method is used to identify the records of patients who have venous thrombosis.
RESULTS: The results indicate that computer modeling enhances the identification of patient cases of interest.