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Methods and measures to quantify ICU patient heterogeneity

David Cuadrado, David Riaño, Josep Gómez, Alejandro Rodríguez, María Bodí
Published: 1 May 2021
Journal of Biomedical Informatics , Volume 117; doi:10.1016/j.jbi.2021.103768

Abstract: Patients in intensive care units are heterogeneous and the daily prediction of their days to discharge (DTD) a complex task that practitioners and computers are not always able to solve satisfactorily. In order to make more precise DTD predictors, it is necessary to have tools for the analysis of the heterogeneity of the patients. Unfortunately, the number of publications in this field is almost non-existent. In order to alleviate this lack of tools, we propose four methods and their corresponding measures to quantify the heterogeneity of intensive patients in the process of determining the DTD. These new methods and measures have been tested with patients admitted over four years to a tertiary hospital in Spain. The results deepen the understanding of the intensive patient and can serve as a basis for the construction of better DTD predictors.
Keywords: Patient heterogeneity / Case-mix / Days to discharge prediction / Intensive care unit / Patient similarity

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