Description of Chief Complaint Data Used in Biosurveillance

The recorded chief complaint of most interest to biosurveillance is the one recorded at the time a patient initially presents for medical care.2 This chief complaint is often recorded directly into a registration computer by triage nurses or registration clerks and is highly available for biosurveillance purposes.

Table 23.1 is a sample of chief complaints from a registration computer in an ED. The chief complaints are more terse (four or five words) than those recorded in physician notes. They also contain misspellings, unconventional abbreviations, and unorthodox punctuation. Only two of these chief complaints contain diagnoses (finger lac and uti, which are abbreviations

2 Chief complaints are also recorded by call centers, as we discuss in Chapter 28. The methods and results discussed in this chapter apply equally to chief complaints obtained in these settings.

table 23.1 Examples of Chief Complaints Recorded in an Emergency Department

Chief complaint

CoCo Syndrome

diff breathing

Respiratory

chest pain

Other

abd pain nausea vomiting

Gastrointestinal

Finger lac

Other

resp dist

Respiratory

Fever

Constitutional

nausea diarhea chest tightness sob

Gastrointestinal, Respiratory

chest pain vomiting

Gastrointestinal

r side pain

Other

rectal bleeding walkin

Hemorrhagic

chest pain

Other

Uti

Other

urinary problems

Other

abd pain

Gastrointestinal

Notes: These 14 examples come from a file used to train a Bayesian natural language processing (NLP) program called CoCo (described in Chapter 17). The second column shows the syndromes that a physician assigned to the chief complaints. For clarity, we adopt a typographical convention of italicizing syndromes.

Notes: These 14 examples come from a file used to train a Bayesian natural language processing (NLP) program called CoCo (described in Chapter 17). The second column shows the syndromes that a physician assigned to the chief complaints. For clarity, we adopt a typographical convention of italicizing syndromes.

for finger laceration and urinary tract infection, respectively). The rest describe the patient's symptoms. The second column of the table shows the syndromes that a human expert assigned to the patient for purposes of training a Bayesian natural language processor. We will discuss syndromes shortly.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment