Section Heading Recognition in Electronic Health Records Using Conditional Random Fields

  • Chih-Wei Chen
  • Nai-Wen Chang
  • Yung-Chun Chang
  • Hong-Jie Dai
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8916)


Electronic health records (EHRs) contain a wealth of information, such as discharge diagnoses, laboratory results, and pharmacy orders, which can be used to support clinical decision support systems and enable clinical and translational research. Unfortunately, the information is represented in a highly heterogeneous semi-structured or unstructured format with author- and domain-specific idiosyncrasies, acronyms and abbreviations. To take full advantage of health data, text-mining techniques have been applied by researchers to recognize named entities (NEs) mentioned in EHRs. However, the judgment of clinical data cannot be known solely from the NE level. For instance, a disease mention in the section of past medical history has different clinical significance when mentioned in the family medical history section. To obtain high-quality information and improve the understanding of clinical records, this work developed a machine learning-based section heading recognition system and evaluated its performance on a manually annotated corpus. The experiment results showed that the machine learning-based system achieved a satisfactory F-score of 0.939, which outperformed a dictionary-based system by 0.321.


Information Extraction Natural Language Processing Electronic Health Record Section Recognition 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chih-Wei Chen
    • 1
  • Nai-Wen Chang
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yung-Chun Chang
    • 4
  • Hong-Jie Dai
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate Institute of Biomedical Informatics, College of Medical Science and TechnologyTaipei Medical UniversityTaiwan
  2. 2.Institution of Information ScienceAcademia SinicaTaiwan
  3. 3.Graduate Institute of Biomedical Electronics and BioinformaticsNational Taiwan UniversityTaiwan
  4. 4.Institute of Information ScienceAcademia SimicaTaiwan

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