BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2017 Jul 5;17(Suppl 2):75. doi: 10.1186/s12911-017-0467-8.
Developing a similarity searching module for patient safety event reporting system using semantic similarity measures.
The most important knowledge in the field of patient safety is regarding the prevention and reduction of patient safety events (PSE) during treatment and care. The similarities and patterns among the events may otherwise go unnoticed if they are not properly reported and analyzed. There is an urgent need for developing a PSE reporting system that can dynamically measure the similarities of the events and thus promote event analysis and learning effect.
In this study, three prevailing algorithms of semantic similarity were implemented to measure the similarities of the 366 PSE annotated by the taxonomy of The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The performance of each algorithm was then evaluated by a group of domain experts based on a 4-point Likert scale. The consistency between the scales of the algorithms and experts was measured and compared with the scales randomly assigned. The similarity algorithms and scores, as a self-learning and self-updating module, were then integrated into the system.
The result shows that the similarity scores reflect a high consistency with the experts' review than those randomly assigned. Moreover, incorporating the algorithms into our reporting system enables a mechanism to learn and update based upon PSE similarity.
In conclusion, integrating semantic similarity algorithms into a PSE reporting system can help us learn from previous events and provide timely knowledge support to the reporters. With the knowledge base in the PSE domain, the new generation reporting system holds promise in educating healthcare providers and preventing the recurrence and serious consequences of PSE.
Medical errors; Medical informatics; Patient safety