Contextual Autocomplete: A Novel User Interface Using Machine Learning to Improve Ontology Usage and Structured Data Capture for Presenting Problems in the Emergency Department

Abstract

Our objective is to determine the effect of contextual autocomplete, a user interface that uses machine learning, on the efficiency and quality of documentation of presenting problems (chief complaints) in the emergency department (ED). We used contextual autocomplete, a user interface that ranks concepts by their predicted probability, to help nurses enter data about a patient’s reason for visiting the ED. Predicted probabilities were calculated using a previously derived model based on triage vital signs and a brief free text note. We evaluated the percentage and quality of structured data captured using a prospective before-and-after study design. A total of 279,231 patient encounters were analyzed. Structured data capture improved from 26.2% to 97.2% (p<0.0001). During the post-implementation period, presenting problems were more complete (3.35 vs 3.66; p=0.0004), as precise (3.59 vs. 3.74; p=0.1), and higher in overall quality (3.38 vs. 3.72; p=0.0002). Our system reduced the mean number of keystrokes required to document a presenting problem from 11.6 to 0.6 (p<0.0001), a 95% improvement. We have thus demonstrated a technique that captures structured data on nearly all patients. We estimate that our system reduces the number of man-hours required annually to type presenting problems at our institution from 92.5 hours to 4.8 hours. In conclusion, implementation of a contextual autocomplete system resulted in improved structured data capture, ontology usage compliance, and data quality.

Publication
bioRxiv
Yacine Jernite
Yacine Jernite
PhD student

Facebook AI Research

Yoni Halpern
Yoni Halpern
PhD student

Google Brain

David Sontag
David Sontag
Associate Professor of EECS

My research focuses on advancing machine learning and artificial intelligence, and using these to transform health care.

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