P031: Using machine learning algorithms for predicting future performance of emergency medicine residents Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Introduction: Background: Medical education is transitioning from a time-based system to a competency-based framework. In the age of Competency-Based Medical Education, however, there is a drastically increased amount of data that needs to be interpreted. With this data, however, comes an opportunity to develop predictive analytics. Machine learning is a method of data analysis that automates analytical model building. Using algorithms that iteratively learn from data, machine learning allows computers to find hidden insights without being explicitly programmed where to look. Machine learning has been successfully used in other fields to create predictive models. Objective: This study evaluates the application of neural network as a machine learning algorithm in learning from historical data in emergency residency program and predicting future resident performance. Methods: We analyzed performance data for 16 residents (PGY1-5) who were assessed at end of each shift. Performance was graded in each of the CanMEDS Roles with scores from 1 to 7 by different attending physicians who observed residents during the shift. We transformed sequences of scores for each resident to a fixed set of features and combined all of them in one dataset. We considered scores under 6 as “At Risk Resident” and scores 6 or more as “Competent Resident”, and then we separated the dataset into training and testing sets using K-Fold cross validation and trained an artificial Neural Network in order to make decision about the future situation of residents in a specific CanMEDS Role and general performance. Results: We used 5-fold cross validation to evaluate the model, one round of cross-validation involves partitioning the whole data into complementary subsets, performing the training phase on the training set, and validating the analysis on the testing set. To reduce variability, multiple rounds of cross-validation are performed using different partitions, and the validation results are averaged over the rounds. Results of cross validation show that accuracy of model was 72%, sensitivity was 81% and specificity was 43%. Conclusion: Machine learning algorithms such (as Neural Network) have the ability to predict future resident performance on a global level and within specific domains (i.e. CanMEDS roles). Used appropriately, such information may be a valuable for monitoring resident progress.

publication date

  • May 2017