SemanticFind: Locating What You Want in a Patient Record, Not Just What You Ask For

We present a new model of patient record search, called SemanticFind, which goes beyond traditional textual and medical synonym matches in locating patient data that a clinician would want to see rather than just what they ask for. The new model is implemented by making extensive use of the UMLS semantic network, distributional semantics, and NLP, to match query terms along several dimensions in a patient record, and the returned matches are organized accordingly. The new approach finds all clinically related concepts without the user having to ask for them. An evaluation of the accuracy of SemanticFind shows that it found twice as many relevant matches compared to those found by literal (traditional) search alone, along with very high precision and recall. These results suggest potential uses for SemanticFind in clinical practice, retrospective chart reviews, and in automatically extracting quality metrics.

By: John M. Prager, Jennifer J. Liang, Murthy V. Devarakonda

Published in: RC25627 in 2016


This Research Report is available. This report has been submitted for publication outside of IBM and will probably be copyrighted if accepted for publication. It has been issued as a Research Report for early dissemination of its contents. In view of the transfer of copyright to the outside publisher, its distribution outside of IBM prior to publication should be limited to peer communications and specific requests. After outside publication, requests should be filled only by reprints or legally obtained copies of the article (e.g., payment of royalties). I have read and understand this notice and am a member of the scientific community outside or inside of IBM seeking a single copy only.


Questions about this service can be mailed to .