Real-World Matching Performance of Deidentified Record-Linking TokensFunding This work was supported in part by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) under awards UL1TR003167 and U01TR002393; the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), under award RP170668, Datavant, Inc., and the Reynolds and Reynolds Professorship in Clinical Informatics.
Objective Our objective was to evaluate tokens commonly used by clinical research consortia to aggregate clinical data across institutions.
Methods This study compares tokens alone and token-based matching algorithms against manual annotation for 20,002 record pairs extracted from the University of Texas Houston's clinical data warehouse (CDW) in terms of entity resolution.
Results The highest precision achieved was 99.9% with a token derived from the first name, last name, gender, and date-of-birth. The highest recall achieved was 95.5% with an algorithm involving tokens that reflected combinations of first name, last name, gender, date-of-birth, and social security number.
Discussion To protect the privacy of patient data, information must be removed from a health care dataset to obscure the identity of individuals from which that data were derived. However, once identifying information is removed, records can no longer be linked to the same entity to enable analyses. Tokens are a mechanism to convert patient identifying information into Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-compliant deidentified elements that can be used to link clinical records, while preserving patient privacy.
Conclusion Depending on the availability and accuracy of the underlying data, tokens are able to resolve and link entities at a high level of precision and recall for real-world data derived from a CDW.
Protection of Human and Animal Subjects
This study has been approved by the Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects (the UTHSC-H IRB) under protocol HSC-SBMI-13–0549.
R.J.A. and A.Y. wrote the initial manuscript. R.J.A., D.C., A.Y., A.C., and T.L. performed the data analysis. J.L. and J.L. revised the manuscript. E.V.B. provided the data. All authors reviewed and approved the manuscript prior to submission.
Data Availability Statement
The data underlying this article cannot be shared publicly due to the fact that these data are individually identifiable and represent real-world patients.
Eingereicht: 12. Juli 2022
Angenommen: 22. Juli 2022
Accepted Manuscript online:
27. Juli 2022
Artikel online veröffentlicht:
14. September 2022
© 2022. The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
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