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J Am Med Inform Assoc ; 2021 Sep 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443051


BACKGROUND: In response to COVID-19, the informatics community united to aggregate as much clinical data as possible to characterize this new disease and reduce its impact through collaborative analytics. The National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) is now the largest publicly available HIPAA limited dataset in US history with over 6.4 million patients and is a testament to a partnership of over 100 organizations. METHODS: We developed a pipeline for ingesting, harmonizing, and centralizing data from 56 contributing data partners using four federated Common Data Models. N3C Data quality (DQ) review involves both automated and manual procedures. In the process, several DQ heuristics were discovered in our centralized context, both within the pipeline and during downstream project-based analysis. Feedback to the sites led to many local and centralized DQ improvements. RESULTS: Beyond well-recognized DQ findings, we discovered 15 heuristics relating to source CDM conformance, demographics, COVID tests, conditions, encounters, measurements, observations, coding completeness and fitness for use. Of 56 sites, 37 sites (66%) demonstrated issues through these heuristics. These 37 sites demonstrated improvement after receiving feedback. DISCUSSION: We encountered site-to-site differences in DQ which would have been challenging to discover using federated checks alone. We have demonstrated that centralized DQ benchmarking reveals unique opportunities for data quality improvement that will support improved research analytics locally and in aggregate. CONCLUSION: By combining rapid, continual assessment of DQ with a large volume of multi-site data, it is possible to support more nuanced scientific questions with the scale and rigor that they require.

JAMA Netw Open ; 4(7): e2116901, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1306627


Importance: The National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) is a centralized, harmonized, high-granularity electronic health record repository that is the largest, most representative COVID-19 cohort to date. This multicenter data set can support robust evidence-based development of predictive and diagnostic tools and inform clinical care and policy. Objectives: To evaluate COVID-19 severity and risk factors over time and assess the use of machine learning to predict clinical severity. Design, Setting, and Participants: In a retrospective cohort study of 1 926 526 US adults with SARS-CoV-2 infection (polymerase chain reaction >99% or antigen <1%) and adult patients without SARS-CoV-2 infection who served as controls from 34 medical centers nationwide between January 1, 2020, and December 7, 2020, patients were stratified using a World Health Organization COVID-19 severity scale and demographic characteristics. Differences between groups over time were evaluated using multivariable logistic regression. Random forest and XGBoost models were used to predict severe clinical course (death, discharge to hospice, invasive ventilatory support, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation). Main Outcomes and Measures: Patient demographic characteristics and COVID-19 severity using the World Health Organization COVID-19 severity scale and differences between groups over time using multivariable logistic regression. Results: The cohort included 174 568 adults who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (mean [SD] age, 44.4 [18.6] years; 53.2% female) and 1 133 848 adult controls who tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 (mean [SD] age, 49.5 [19.2] years; 57.1% female). Of the 174 568 adults with SARS-CoV-2, 32 472 (18.6%) were hospitalized, and 6565 (20.2%) of those had a severe clinical course (invasive ventilatory support, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, death, or discharge to hospice). Of the hospitalized patients, mortality was 11.6% overall and decreased from 16.4% in March to April 2020 to 8.6% in September to October 2020 (P = .002 for monthly trend). Using 64 inputs available on the first hospital day, this study predicted a severe clinical course using random forest and XGBoost models (area under the receiver operating curve = 0.87 for both) that were stable over time. The factor most strongly associated with clinical severity was pH; this result was consistent across machine learning methods. In a separate multivariable logistic regression model built for inference, age (odds ratio [OR], 1.03 per year; 95% CI, 1.03-1.04), male sex (OR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.51-1.69), liver disease (OR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.08-1.34), dementia (OR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.13-1.41), African American (OR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.05-1.20) and Asian (OR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.12-1.57) race, and obesity (OR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.27-1.46) were independently associated with higher clinical severity. Conclusions and Relevance: This cohort study found that COVID-19 mortality decreased over time during 2020 and that patient demographic characteristics and comorbidities were associated with higher clinical severity. The machine learning models accurately predicted ultimate clinical severity using commonly collected clinical data from the first 24 hours of a hospital admission.

COVID-19 , Databases, Factual , Forecasting , Hospitalization , Models, Biological , Severity of Illness Index , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/ethnology , COVID-19/mortality , Comorbidity , Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation , Female , Humans , Hydrogen-Ion Concentration , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Respiration, Artificial , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , United States , Young Adult
J Am Med Inform Assoc ; 28(3): 427-443, 2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-719257


OBJECTIVE: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) poses societal challenges that require expeditious data and knowledge sharing. Though organizational clinical data are abundant, these are largely inaccessible to outside researchers. Statistical, machine learning, and causal analyses are most successful with large-scale data beyond what is available in any given organization. Here, we introduce the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C), an open science community focused on analyzing patient-level data from many centers. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The Clinical and Translational Science Award Program and scientific community created N3C to overcome technical, regulatory, policy, and governance barriers to sharing and harmonizing individual-level clinical data. We developed solutions to extract, aggregate, and harmonize data across organizations and data models, and created a secure data enclave to enable efficient, transparent, and reproducible collaborative analytics. RESULTS: Organized in inclusive workstreams, we created legal agreements and governance for organizations and researchers; data extraction scripts to identify and ingest positive, negative, and possible COVID-19 cases; a data quality assurance and harmonization pipeline to create a single harmonized dataset; population of the secure data enclave with data, machine learning, and statistical analytics tools; dissemination mechanisms; and a synthetic data pilot to democratize data access. CONCLUSIONS: The N3C has demonstrated that a multisite collaborative learning health network can overcome barriers to rapidly build a scalable infrastructure incorporating multiorganizational clinical data for COVID-19 analytics. We expect this effort to save lives by enabling rapid collaboration among clinicians, researchers, and data scientists to identify treatments and specialized care and thereby reduce the immediate and long-term impacts of COVID-19.

COVID-19 , Data Science/organization & administration , Information Dissemination , Intersectoral Collaboration , Computer Security , Data Analysis , Ethics Committees, Research , Government Regulation , Humans , National Institutes of Health (U.S.) , United States