Clinical narrative text includes information related to a patient's medical history such as chronological progression of medical problems and clinical treatments. A chronological view of a patient's history makes clinical audits easier and improves quality of care. In this paper, we propose a clinical Problem-Action relation extraction method, based on clinical semantic units and event causality patterns, to present a chronological view of a patient's problem and a doctor's action. Based on our observation that a clinical text describes a patient's medical problems and a doctor's treatments in chronological order, a clinical semantic unit is defined as a problem and/or an action relation. Since a clinical event is a basic unit of the problem and action relation, events are extracted from narrative texts, based on the external knowledge resources context features of the conditional random fields. A clinical semantic unit is extracted from each sentence based on time expressions and context structures of events. Then, a clinical semantic unit is classified into a problem and/or action relation based on the event causality patterns of the support vector machines. Experimental results on Korean discharge summaries show 78.8% performance in the F1-measure. This result shows that the proposed method is effectively classifies clinical Problem-Action relations.
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