JOURNAL ARTICLE

Recognizing Temporal Information in Korean Clinical Narratives through Text Normalization

Youngho Kim, Jinwook Choi
Healthcare Informatics Research 2011, 17 (3): 150-5
22084809

OBJECTIVES: Acquiring temporal information is important because knowledge in clinical narratives is time-sensitive. In this paper, we describe an approach that can be used to extract the temporal information found in Korean clinical narrative texts.

METHODS: We developed a two-stage system, which employs an exhaustive text analysis phase and a temporal expression recognition phase. Since our target document may include tokens that are made up of both Korean and English text joined together, the minimal semantic units are analyzed and then separated from the concatenated phrases and linguistic derivations within a token using a corpus-based approach to decompose complex tokens. A finite state machine is then used on the minimal semantic units in order to find phrases that possess time-related information.

RESULTS: In the experiment, the temporal expressions within Korean clinical narratives were extracted using our system. The system performance was evaluated through the use of 100 discharge summaries from Seoul National University Hospital containing a total of 805 temporal expressions. Our system scored a phrase-level precision and recall of 0.895 and 0.919, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Finding information in Korean clinical narrative is challenging task, since the text is written in both Korean and English and frequently omits syntactic elements and word spacing, which makes it extremely noisy. This study presents an effective method that can be used to aquire the temporal information found in Korean clinical documents.

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