Mining and exploring care pathways from electronic medical records with visual analytics

Picture of Fei Wang
Fei Wang
Picture of Jianying Hu
Jianying Hu
Teaser image


Objective: In order to derive data-driven insights, we develop Care Pathway Explorer, a system that mines and visualizes a set of frequent event sequences from patient EMR data. The goal is to utilize historical EMR data to extract common sequences of medical events such as diagnoses and treatments, and investigate how these sequences correlate with patient outcome. Materials and methods: The Care Pathway Explorer uses a frequent sequence mining algorithm adapted to handle the real-world properties of EMR data, including techniques for handling event concurrency, multiple levels-of-detail, temporal context, and outcome. The mined patterns are then visualized in an interactive user interface consisting of novel overview and flow visualizations. Results: We use the proposed system to analyze the diagnoses and treatments of a cohort of hyperlipidemic patients with hypertension and diabetes pre-conditions, and demonstrate the clinical relevance of patterns mined from EMR data. The patterns that were identified corresponded to clinical and published knowledge, some of it unknown to the physician at the time of discovery. Conclusion: Care Pathway Explorer, which combines frequent sequence mining techniques with advanced visualizations supports the integration of data-driven insights into care pathway discovery.