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Exploring Syndrome Definition by Applying Clustering Methods to Electronic Health Records Data


Electronic  Health  Record  (EHR)  data  offers  the  researcher a potentially rich source of data for tracking disease  syndromes. Procedures  performed  on  the  patient, medications prescribed (not necessarily filled by  the  patient),  and  reason  for  visit  are  just  some  characteristics of the patient encounter that are available  through  an  EHR  that  can  be  used  to  define  surveillance  syndromes.    Since  procedures  have  not  been used frequently in defining syndromes, encounter  level  procedures  data,  extracted  from  the  EHR  of  a   large   local   primary   care   practice   with   about   200,000 patient encounters per year was used to identify  procedures  associated  with  an  established  respiratory syndrome.


To investigate the utility of different sources of patient encounter information, particularly in the primary care setting, that can be used to characterize surveillance syndromes, such as respiratory or flu.

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