Benchmarking clinical speech recognition and information extraction: new data, methods, and evaluations.

Hanna Suominen, Liyuan Zhou, Leif Hanlen, Gabriela Ferraro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
295 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND: Over a tenth of preventable adverse events in health care are caused by failures in information flow. These failures are tangible in clinical handover; regardless of good verbal handover, from two-thirds to all of this information is lost after 3-5 shifts if notes are taken by hand, or not at all. Speech recognition and information extraction provide a way to fill out a handover form for clinical proofing and sign-off.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to provide a recorded spoken handover, annotated verbatim transcriptions, and evaluations to support research in spoken and written natural language processing for filling out a clinical handover form. This dataset is based on synthetic patient profiles, thereby avoiding ethical and legal restrictions, while maintaining efficacy for research in speech-to-text conversion and information extraction, based on realistic clinical scenarios. We also introduce a Web app to demonstrate the system design and workflow.

METHODS: We experiment with Dragon Medical 11.0 for speech recognition and CRF++ for information extraction. To compute features for information extraction, we also apply CoreNLP, MetaMap, and Ontoserver. Our evaluation uses cross-validation techniques to measure processing correctness.

RESULTS: The data provided were a simulation of nursing handover, as recorded using a mobile device, built from simulated patient records and handover scripts, spoken by an Australian registered nurse. Speech recognition recognized 5276 of 7277 words in our 100 test documents correctly. We considered 50 mutually exclusive categories in information extraction and achieved the F1 (ie, the harmonic mean of Precision and Recall) of 0.86 in the category for irrelevant text and the macro-averaged F1 of 0.70 over the remaining 35 nonempty categories of the form in our 101 test documents.

CONCLUSIONS: The significance of this study hinges on opening our data, together with the related performance benchmarks and some processing software, to the research and development community for studying clinical documentation and language-processing. The data are used in the CLEFeHealth 2015 evaluation laboratory for a shared task on speech recognition.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere19
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalJMIR medical informatics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2015


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