Prescott Klassen, Fei Xia, Lucy Vanderwende, and Meliha Yetisgen
Early detection and treatment of diseases that onset after a patient is admitted to a hospital, such as pneumonia, is critical to improving and reducing costs in healthcare. NLP systems that analyze the narrative data embedded in clinical artifacts such as x-ray reports can help support early detection. In this paper, we consider the importance of identifying the change of state for events—in particular, clinical events that measure and compare the multiple states of a patients health across time. We propose a schema for event annotation comprised of five fields ⟨location, attribute, value, change-of-state, reference⟩ and create preliminary annotation guidelines for annotators to apply the schema. We then train annotators, measure their performance, and finalize our guidelines. With the complete guidelines, we then annotate a corpus of snippets extracted from chest x-ray reports in order to integrate the annotations as a new source of features for classification tasks.