Brief Hospital Course (BHC) summaries are succinct summaries of an entire hospital encounter, embedded within discharge summaries, written by senior clinicians responsible for the overall care of a patient. Methods to automatically produce summaries from inpatient documentation would be invaluable in reducing clinician manual burden of summarising documents under high time-pressure to admit and discharge patients. Automatically producing these summaries from the inpatient course, is a complex, multi-document summarisation task, as source notes are written from various perspectives (e.g. nursing, doctor, radiology), during the course of the hospitalisation. We demonstrate a range of methods for BHC summarisation demonstrating the performance of deep learning summarisation models across extractive and abstractive summarisation scenarios. We also test a novel ensemble extractive and abstractive summarisation model that incorporates a medical concept ontology (SNOMED) as a clinical guidance signal and shows superior performance in 2 real-world clinical data sets.
Keywords: Clinical natural language processing; Clinical text summarisation; Pre-trained, deep learning, fine-tuned models for clinical summarisation.
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