Prescription Information Extraction from Electronic Health Records using BiLSTM-CRF and Word Embeddings
Medical records are increasingly being recorded in the form of electronic health records (EHRs), with a significant amount of patient data recorded as unstructured natural language text. Consequently, being able to extract and utilize clinical data present within these records is an important step in furthering clinical care. One important aspect within these records is the presence of prescription information. Existing techniques for extracting prescription information — which includes medication names, dosages, frequencies, reasons for taking, and mode of administration — from unstructured text have focused on the application of rule- and classifier-based methods. While state-of-the-art systems can be effective in extracting many types of information, they require significant effort to develop hand-crafted rules and conduct effective feature engineering. This paper presents the use of a bidirectional LSTM with CRF tagging model initialized with precomputed word embeddings for extracting prescription information from sentences without requiring significant feature engineering. The experimental results, run on the i2b2 2009 dataset, achieve an F1 macro measure of 0.8562, and scores above 0.9449 on four of the six categories, indicating significant potential for this model.