To develop and test a method for automatic assessment of a quality metric, provider-documented pretreatment digital rectal examination (DRE), using the outputs of a natural language processing (NLP) framework.An electronic health records (EHR)-based prostate cancer data warehouse was used to identify patients and associated clinical notes from 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2017. Using a previously developed natural language processing pipeline, we classified DRE assessment as documented (currently or historically performed), deferred (or suggested as a future examination) and refused.We investigated the quality metric performance, documentation 6?months before treatment and identified patient and clinical factors associated with metric performance.The cohort included 7215 patients with prostate cancer and 426?227 unique clinical notes associated with pretreatment encounters. DREs of 5958 (82.6%) patients were documented and 1257 (17.4%) of patients did not have a DRE documented in the EHR. A total of 3742 (51.9%) patient DREs were documented within 6 months prior to treatment, meeting the quality metric. Patients with private insurance had a higher rate of DRE 6?months prior to starting treatment as compared with Medicaid-based or Medicare-based payors (77.3%vs69.5%, p=0.001). Patients undergoing chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery as the first line of treatment were more likely to have a documented DRE 6?months prior to treatment.EHRs contain valuable unstructured information and with NLP, it is feasible to accurately and efficiently identify quality metrics with current documentation clinician workflow.
View details for DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-027182
View details for PubMedID 31324681