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Research Letter
September 3, 2020

Use of Natural Language Processing to Assess Frequency of Functional Status Documentation for Patients Newly Diagnosed With Colorectal Cancer

Author Affiliations
  • 1Health Policy Research Center–Mongan Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  • 2Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3Division of Palliative Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 4Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 5Division of Hematology and Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  • 6Division of General Internal Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
JAMA Oncol. Published online September 3, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.2708

Assessing a patient’s functional status is critical for determining cancer prognosis, treatment, and clinical trial eligibility.1 Performance status (PS) measures summarize a patient’s ability to independently perform activities of daily living (ADLs). We applied natural language processing (NLP) to electronic health records (EHRs) to examine PS documentation among patients newly diagnosed with colorectal cancer in a large health care delivery system.

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