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Drug Overdose Using SAS Text Based Search: Putting Literal Text to Work

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Drug Overdose Using SAS Text Based Search: Putting Literal Text to Work

presented by Dagan Wright, Oregon Health Authority

This presentation discusses methods for mining data from narrative text.

Why create a search tool for the literal text?
Drug overdose deaths are currently the leading cause of injury death in the US and the number of deaths from this cause is increasing. The current coding system for drug overdose deaths is limited in its ability to adequately classify the drugs involved.
What is the literal text?
The literal text data includes the text entries from the death certificate including those in the cause-of-death section of the death certificate, how the injury occurred box, place of injury box, and place of death box. The literal text entries are either directly captured as they are entered onto an electronic death certificate or are directly transcribed from a paper certificate.
What does this program do?
This program searches the text for references to specific drugs and other words of interest that are included in the cause of death statement and the “how the injury occurred” text box. The program creates additional fields in the data set and records the drugs and other terms of interest in the additional fields.
What can we do with the output?
After analyzing the data with this program, you could specify the leading drugs involved in deaths in your state or jurisdiction. For example, the leading drugs involved may be oxycodone, methadone, heroin, and alprazolam. You could compare the number of deaths involving each drug by month or year. You could monitor to see if the number of deaths from a particular drug was increasing. You could also use the search terms spreadsheet to monitor incoming literal text for new threats.

Additional Materials:

Presented at the SAS Users of Oregon Conference 2014 in Portland, OR.

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