A computational method to quantitatively measure pediatric drug safety using electronic medical records

Gang Yu, Xian Zeng, Shaoqing Ni, Zheng Jia, Weihong Chen, Xudong Lu, Jiye An, Huilong Duan, Qiang Shu, Haomin Li
2020 BMC Medical Research Methodology  
Drug safety in children is a major concern; however, there is still a lack of methods for quantitatively measuring, let alone to improving, drug safety in children under different clinical conditions. To assess pediatric drug safety under different clinical conditions, a computational method based on Electronic Medical Record (EMR) datasets was proposed. In this study, a computational method was designed to extract the significant drug-diagnosis associations (based on a Bonferroni-adjusted
more » ... geometric P-value < 0.05) among drug and diagnosis co-occurrence in EMR datasets. This allows for differences between pediatric and adult drug use to be compared based on different EMR datasets. The drug-diagnosis associations were further used to generate drug clusters under specific clinical conditions using unsupervised clustering. A 5-layer quantitative pediatric drug safety level was proposed based on the drug safety statement of the pediatric labeling of each drug. Therefore, the drug safety levels under different pediatric clinical conditions were calculated. Two EMR datasets from a 1900-bed children's hospital and a 2000-bed general hospital were used to test this method. The comparison between the children's hospital and the general hospital showed unique features of pediatric drug use and identified the drug treatment gap between children and adults. In total, 591 drugs were used in the children's hospital; 18 drug clusters that were associated with certain clinical conditions were generated based on our method; and the quantitative drug safety levels of each drug cluster (under different clinical conditions) were calculated, analyzed, and visualized. With this method, quantitative drug safety levels under certain clinical conditions in pediatric patients can be evaluated and compared. If there are longitudinal data, improvements can also be measured. This method has the potential to be used in many population-level, health data-based drug safety studies.
doi:10.1186/s12874-020-0902-x pmid:31937265 pmcid:PMC6961323 fatcat:q5nynaugkjagbey2sakohqlqnu