Importance: Various model reporting guidelines have been proposed to ensure clinical prediction models are reliable and fair. However, no consensus exists about which model details are essential to report, and commonalities and differences among reporting guidelines have not been characterized. Furthermore, how well documentation of deployed models adheres to these guidelines has not been studied.
Objectives: To assess information requested by model reporting guidelines and whether the documentation for commonly used machine learning models developed by a single vendor provides the information requested.
Evidence review: MEDLINE was queried using machine learning model card and reporting machine learning from November 4 to December 6, 2020. References were reviewed to find additional publications, and publications without specific reporting recommendations were excluded. Similar elements requested for reporting were merged into representative items. Four independent reviewers and 1 adjudicator assessed how often documentation for the most commonly used models developed by a single vendor reported the items.
Findings: From 15 model reporting guidelines, 220 unique items were identified that represented the collective reporting requirements. Although 12 items were commonly requested (requested by 10 or more guidelines), 77 items were requested by just 1 guideline. Documentation for 12 commonly used models from a single vendor reported a median of 39% (IQR, 37%-43%; range, 31%-47%) of items from the collective reporting requirements. Many of the commonly requested items had 100% reporting rates, including items concerning outcome definition, area under the receiver operating characteristics curve, internal validation, and intended clinical use. Several items reported half the time or less related to reliability, such as external validation, uncertainty measures, and strategy for handling missing data. Other frequently unreported items related to fairness (summary statistics and subgroup analyses, including for race and ethnicity or sex).
Conclusions and relevance: These findings suggest that consistent reporting recommendations for clinical predictive models are needed for model developers to share necessary information for model deployment. The many published guidelines would, collectively, require reporting more than 200 items. Model documentation from 1 vendor reported the most commonly requested items from model reporting guidelines. However, areas for improvement were identified in reporting items related to model reliability and fairness. This analysis led to feedback to the vendor, which motivated updates to the documentation for future users.