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Wang JK, Hom J, Balasubramanian S, Schuler A, Shah NH, Goldstein MK, Baiocchi MTM, Chen JH. An evaluation of clinical order patterns machine-learned from clinician cohorts stratified by patient mortality outcomes. Journal of Biomedical Informatics. 2018 Oct 1; 86:109-119.
Evaluate the quality of clinical order practice patterns machine-learned from clinician cohorts stratified by patient mortality outcomes.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Inpatient electronic health records from 2010 to 2013 were extracted from a tertiary academic hospital. Clinicians (n?=?1822) were stratified into low-mortality (21.8%, n?=?397) and high-mortality (6.0%, n?=?110) extremes using a two-sided P-value score quantifying deviation of observed vs. expected 30-day patient mortality rates. Three patient cohorts were assembled: patients seen by low-mortality clinicians, high-mortality clinicians, and an unfiltered crowd of all clinicians (n?=?1046, 1046, and 5230 post-propensity score matching, respectively). Predicted order lists were automatically generated from recommender system algorithms trained on each patient cohort and evaluated against (i) real-world practice patterns reflected in patient cases with better-than-expected mortality outcomes and (ii) reference standards derived from clinical practice guidelines.
Across six common admission diagnoses, order lists learned from the crowd demonstrated the greatest alignment with guideline references (AUROC range?=?0.86-0.91), performing on par or better than those learned from low-mortality clinicians (0.79-0.84, P?10) or manually-authored hospital order sets (0.65-0.77, P?10). The same trend was observed in evaluating model predictions against better-than-expected patient cases, with the crowd model (AUROC mean?=?0.91) outperforming the low-mortality model (0.87, P?10) and order set benchmarks (0.78, P?10).
Whether machine-learning models are trained on all clinicians or a subset of experts illustrates a bias-variance tradeoff in data usage. Defining robust metrics to assess quality based on internal (e.g. practice patterns from better-than-expected patient cases) or external reference standards (e.g. clinical practice guidelines) is critical to assess decision support content.
Learning relevant decision support content from all clinicians is as, if not more, robust than learning from a select subgroup of clinicians favored by patient outcomes.