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The current mode of use of Electronic Health Record (EHR) elicits text redundancy. Clinicians often populate new documents by duplicating existing notes, then updating accordingly. Data duplication can lead to a propagation of errors, inconsistencies and misreporting of care. Therefore, quantifying information redundancy can play an essential role in evaluating innovations that operate on clinical narratives. This work is a quantitative examination of information redundancy in EHR notes. We present and evaluate two strategies to measure redundancy: an information-theoretic approach and a lexicosyntactic and semantic model. We evaluate the measures by training large Transformer-based language models using clinical text from a large openly available US-based ICU dataset and a large multi-site UK based Trust. By comparing the information-theoretic content of the trained models with open-domain language models, the language models trained using clinical text have shown ~1.5x to ~3x less efficient than open-domain corpora. Manual evaluation shows a high correlation with lexicosyntactic and semantic redundancy, with averages ~43 to ~65%.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2021


  • cs.CL

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