Real-Time Automated Sampling of Electronic Medical Records Predicts Hospital Mortality

Hargobind S. Khurana, Robert H. Groves, Michael P. Simons, Mary Martin, Brenda Stoffer, Sherri Kou, Richard Gerkin, Eric Reiman, Sairam Parthasarathy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background Real-time automated continuous sampling of electronic medical record data may expeditiously identify patients at risk for death and enable prompt life-saving interventions. We hypothesized that a real-time electronic medical record-based alert could identify hospitalized patients at risk for mortality. Methods An automated alert was developed and implemented to continuously sample electronic medical record data and trigger when at least 2 of 4 systemic inflammatory response syndrome criteria plus at least one of 14 acute organ dysfunction parameters was detected. The systemic inflammatory response syndrome and organ dysfunction alert was applied in real time to 312,214 patients in 24 hospitals and analyzed in 2 phases: training and validation datasets. Results In the training phase, 29,317 (18.8%) triggered the alert and 5.2% of such patients died, whereas only 0.2% without the alert died (unadjusted odds ratio 30.1; 95% confidence interval, 26.1-34.5; P <.0001). In the validation phase, the sensitivity, specificity, area under the curve, and positive and negative likelihood ratios for predicting mortality were 0.86, 0.82, 0.84, 4.9, and 0.16, respectively. Multivariate Cox-proportional hazard regression model revealed greater hospital mortality when the alert was triggered (adjusted hazards ratio 4.0; 95% confidence interval, 3.3-4.9; P <.0001). Triggering the alert was associated with additional hospitalization days (+3.0 days) and ventilator days (+1.6 days; P <.0001). Conclusion An automated alert system that continuously samples electronic medical record data can be implemented, has excellent test characteristics, and can assist in the real-time identification of hospitalized patients at risk for death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)688-698.e2
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Critical illness
  • Electronic health records
  • Forecasting
  • Mortality
  • Sepsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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