Medical errors are recognized as the cause of numerous deaths, and even if some are difficult to avoid, many are preventable.

Computerized physician order-entry systems with decision support have been proposed to reduce this risk of medication errors, but these systems rely on structured and coded information in the electronic health record (EHR). Unfortunately, a substantial proportion of the information available in the EHR is only mentioned in narrative clinical documents.

Electronic lists of problems and allergies are available in most EHRs, but they require manual management by their users, to add new problems, modify existing ones, and the removal of the ones that are irrelevant. Consequently, these electronic lists are often incomplete, inaccurate, and out of date.

Clinacuity, Inc. proposes a new system to automatically extract structured and coded medical problems and allergies from clinical narrative text in the EHR of patients suffering from cancer: CliniWhiz™

CliniWhiz not only helps healthcare providers maintain complete and timely lists of problems and allergies, providing them with an efficient overview of a patient, but also helps healthcare organizations attain meaningful use requirements. The proposed system has potential commercial applications in inpatient and outpatient settings, increasing the efficiency of busy healthcare providers by saving time, and aiding healthcare organizations in demonstrating “meaningful use” and obtaining Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services incentive payments.

Development of the CliniWhiz prototype is funded by the National Cancer Institute, with integration and clinical impact evaluation at the Medical University of South Carolina (Hollings Cancer Center, Charleston, SC) and University of Utah (Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City, UT).