Zero-shot Interpretable Phenotyping of Postpartum Hemorrhage Using Large Language Models


Many areas of medicine would benefit from deeper, more accurate phenotyping, but there are limited approaches for phenotyping using clinical notes without substantial annotated data. Large language models (LLMs) have demonstrated immense potential to adapt to novel tasks with no additional training by specifying task-specific i nstructions. We investigated the per-formance of a publicly available LLM, Flan-T5, in phenotyping patients with postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) using discharge notes from electronic health records (n=271,081). The language model achieved strong performance in extracting 24 granular concepts associated with PPH. Identifying these granular concepts accurately allowed the development of inter-pretable, complex phenotypes and subtypes. The Flan-T5 model achieved high fidelity in phenotyping PPH (positive predictive value of 0.95), identifying 47% more patients with this complication compared to the current standard of using claims codes. This LLM pipeline can be used reliably for subtyping PPH and outperformed a claims-based approach on the three most common PPH subtypes associated with uterine atony, abnormal placentation, and obstetric trauma. The advantage of this approach to subtyping is its interpretability, as each concept contributing to the subtype determination can be evaluated. Moreover, as definitions may change over time due to new guidelines, using granular concepts to create complex phenotypes enables prompt and efficient updating of the algorithm. Using this lan-guage modelling approach enables rapid phenotyping without the need for any manually annotated training data across multiple clinical use cases.

Emily Alsentzer
Postdoctoral Fellow

My research addresses the challenges of applying machine learning and natural language processing to healthcare.