Framing Electronic Medical Records as Polylingual Documents in Query Expansion

Edward W. Huang, Sheng Wang, Doris Jung Lin Lee, Runshun Zhang, Baoyan Liu, Xuezhong Zhou, Cheng Xiang Zhai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a study of electronic medical record (EMR) retrieval that emulates situations in which a doctor treats a new patient. Given a query consisting of a new patient's symptoms, the retrieval system returns the set of most relevant records of previously treated patients. However, due to semantic, functional, and treatment synonyms in medical terminology, queries are often incomplete and thus require enhancement. In this paper, we present a topic model that frames symptoms and treatments as separate languages. Our experimental results show that this method improves retrieval performance over several baselines with statistical significance. These baselines include methods used in prior studies as well as state-of-the-art embedding techniques. Finally, we show that our proposed topic model discovers all three types of synonyms to improve medical record retrieval.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)940-949
Number of pages10
JournalAMIA Annual Symposium Proceedings
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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