Author: Matthew Flores MS, RRT, CHCA  

Before we assess whether Natural Language Processing (NLP) could benefit HEDIS® reporting, it is important to look at the history of HEDIS as well as some of the information surrounding trends in quality reporting from a regulatory and operational standpoint to put the question into perspective.

The Setting

The Healthcare Effectiveness Data Information Set (HEDIS) is an important set of healthcare quality indicators developed and administered by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) with the goal of improving the triple aim in healthcare. This is accomplished by measuring care provision at the payer level which has historically relied heavily on claims and other administrative data as the primary means for measuring clinical activities.

When HEDIS started, administrative (e.g. claims) data was the primary type of clinical information most health plans received for their patients. Over time, Hybrid measures were added using Medical Record Review (MRR) to bridge the gap of information not received in administrative data for some measures. HEDIS evolved to incorporate supplemental data from various other data sources such as immunization registries and eventually EHRs.


How the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is using Natural Language Processing to improve clinical care

Social determinants of Health (SDoH) are a top priority of agencies globally such as the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as back here in the U.S. where the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has its own variation of goals per Healthy People 2020. The exact definition of what is included in SDoHs varies - but what remains clear is that they are social factors which impact the health of individuals. These may include a myriad of components, such as: stress, social isolation, employment (or lack of), social support, addiction, food insecurity, transportation issues, etc. SDoHs are primarily found within the clinician narrative in electronic health records (EHR), and are difficult to find when trying to identify individuals to ensure proper care.

Sometimes physicians focus excessively on the ‘medical’ problems and don’t pay enough attention to the context that people live in and the social aspects that influence their health. Our study [utilizing Linguamatics NLP] once again highlights the importance of knowing this information in order to provide patients our very best care.

- Leslie Lenert, M.D., MS, Chief Research Information Officer for MUSC and director of MUSC’s Biomedical Informatics Center (BMIC) 1


Novo Nordisk uses Linguamatics NLP in groundbreaking project to mine real world data insights

Novo Nordisk has received one of the three Bio-IT World Innovative Practices Awards for their workflow to integrate NLP to generate actionable insights from real world data, during the Bio-IT World Conference and Exposition 2019 in Boston. Linguamatics, the leading Natural Language Processing (NLP) solution provider, is the Novo Nordisk NLP technology partner. Linguamatics and Novo Nordisk were among the 9 projects and 15 organizations selected as finalists for this prestigious award.

Bio-IT World’s Innovative Practices Award recognizes partnerships and projects pushing the life science industry forward, by highlighting examples of how technology innovations and strategic initiatives can be powerful forces for change. After winning Bio-IT World’s Best of Show Judges’ Prize in 2018 with iScite 2.0, the Linguamatics team is extremely proud of this new accomplishment.

Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with more than 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. This heritage has given them experience and capabilities that also enable them to help people defeat other serious chronic conditions: diabetes, haemophilia, growth disorders and obesity.


Spring is a lovely time to be in Cambridge – winter is finally moving on, the spring bulbs are out and the trees are in blossom. Time for Linguamatics Spring Text Mining Conference, which again this year was blessed with lovely sunshine. And of course, the opportunity to hear the latest about Linguamatics products and some new and fascinating use cases from our customers.

In March 2019, attendees from across pharma and healthcare came to our Spring Text Mining Conference, for hands-on workshops, a Healthcare Hackathon, networking and great presentations. The presentations covered innovations in using Natural Language Processing (NLP) to get more value from a range of unstructured text, covering electronic medical records, regulatory documents and patient social media verbatims.


Digital transformation often induces a disruption in our systems, in the way we use technology, human intelligence and processes to enhance business performance. Life science organizations are generally embracing the necessary digital revolution but digital transformation demands data transformation, which includes developing strategies to access information buried in text.

Data-driven decision making

During the upcoming Bio-IT World Conference & Expo, Jane Reed, Linguamatics Head of Life Science Strategy, will present a talk on "Natural Language Processing: enabling data-driven rather than document-driven decision making". Natural Language processing (NLP) allows organizations to focus on data-driven rather than document-driven decision making in a timely manner. The technology is already helping people in life sciences and healthcare, even non-programmers, to transform unstructured text into actionable structured data that can be rapidly visualized and analyzed, for decision support from bench to bedside.