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author:("stre, Rune")
1.  The influence of an intermediate care hospital on health care utilization among elderly patients - a retrospective comparative cohort study 
An intermediate care hospital (ICH) was established in a municipality in Central Norway in 2007 to improve the coordination of services and follow-up among elderly and chronically ill patients after hospital discharge. The aim of this study was to compare health care utilization by elderly patients in a municipality with an ICH to that of elderly patients in a municipality without an ICH.
This study was a retrospective comparative cohort study of all hospitalized patients aged 60 years or older in two municipalities. The data were collected from the national register of hospital use from 2005 to 2012, and from the local general hospital and two primary health care service providers from 2008 to 2012 (approx. 1,250 patients per follow-up year). The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA).
The length of hospital stay decreased from the time the ICH was introduced and remained between 10% and 22% lower than the length of hospital stay in the comparative municipality for the next five years. No differences in the number of readmissions or admissions during one year follow-up after the index stay at the local general hospital or changes in primary health care utilization were observed. In the year after hospital discharge, the municipality with an ICH offered more hour-based care to elderly patients living at home (estimated mean = 234 [95% CI 215-252] versus 175 [95% CI 154-196] hours per person and year), while the comparative municipality had a higher utilization of long-term stays in nursing homes (estimated mean = 33.3 [95% CI 29.0-37.7] versus 21.9 [95% CI 18.0-25.7] days per person and year).
This study indicates that the introduction of an ICH rapidly reduces the length of hospital stay without exposing patients to an increased health risk. The ICH appears to operate as an extension of the general hospital, with only a minor impact on the pattern of primary health care utilization.
PMCID: PMC4323014  PMID: 25638151
Intermediate care hospital; Hospital discharge; Health care utilization; Length of stay; Readmission; Primary health care; Elderly
3.  BioCreative III interactive task: an overview 
BMC Bioinformatics  2011;12(Suppl 8):S4.
The BioCreative challenge evaluation is a community-wide effort for evaluating text mining and information extraction systems applied to the biological domain. The biocurator community, as an active user of biomedical literature, provides a diverse and engaged end user group for text mining tools. Earlier BioCreative challenges involved many text mining teams in developing basic capabilities relevant to biological curation, but they did not address the issues of system usage, insertion into the workflow and adoption by curators. Thus in BioCreative III (BC-III), the InterActive Task (IAT) was introduced to address the utility and usability of text mining tools for real-life biocuration tasks. To support the aims of the IAT in BC-III, involvement of both developers and end users was solicited, and the development of a user interface to address the tasks interactively was requested.
A User Advisory Group (UAG) actively participated in the IAT design and assessment. The task focused on gene normalization (identifying gene mentions in the article and linking these genes to standard database identifiers), gene ranking based on the overall importance of each gene mentioned in the article, and gene-oriented document retrieval (identifying full text papers relevant to a selected gene). Six systems participated and all processed and displayed the same set of articles. The articles were selected based on content known to be problematic for curation, such as ambiguity of gene names, coverage of multiple genes and species, or introduction of a new gene name. Members of the UAG curated three articles for training and assessment purposes, and each member was assigned a system to review. A questionnaire related to the interface usability and task performance (as measured by precision and recall) was answered after systems were used to curate articles. Although the limited number of articles analyzed and users involved in the IAT experiment precluded rigorous quantitative analysis of the results, a qualitative analysis provided valuable insight into some of the problems encountered by users when using the systems. The overall assessment indicates that the system usability features appealed to most users, but the system performance was suboptimal (mainly due to low accuracy in gene normalization). Some of the issues included failure of species identification and gene name ambiguity in the gene normalization task leading to an extensive list of gene identifiers to review, which, in some cases, did not contain the relevant genes. The document retrieval suffered from the same shortfalls. The UAG favored achieving high performance (measured by precision and recall), but strongly recommended the addition of features that facilitate the identification of correct gene and its identifier, such as contextual information to assist in disambiguation.
The IAT was an informative exercise that advanced the dialog between curators and developers and increased the appreciation of challenges faced by each group. A major conclusion was that the intended users should be actively involved in every phase of software development, and this will be strongly encouraged in future tasks. The IAT Task provides the first steps toward the definition of metrics and functional requirements that are necessary for designing a formal evaluation of interactive curation systems in the BioCreative IV challenge.
PMCID: PMC3269939  PMID: 22151968
4.  AGRA: analysis of gene ranking algorithms 
Bioinformatics  2011;27(8):1185-1186.
Summary: Often, the most informative genes have to be selected from different gene sets and several computer gene ranking algorithms have been developed to cope with the problem. To help researchers decide which algorithm to use, we developed the analysis of gene ranking algorithms (AGRA) system that offers a novel technique for comparing ranked lists of genes. The most important feature of AGRA is that no previous knowledge of gene ranking algorithms is needed for their comparison. Using the text mining system finding-associated concepts with text analysis. AGRA defines what we call biomedical concept space (BCS) for each gene list and offers a comparison of the gene lists in six different BCS categories. The uploaded gene lists can be compared using two different methods. In the first method, the overlap between each pair of two gene lists of BCSs is calculated. The second method offers a text field where a specific biomedical concept can be entered. AGRA searches for this concept in each gene lists' BCS, highlights the rank of the concept and offers a visual representation of concepts ranked above and below it.
Availability and Implementation: Available at, implemented in Java and running on the Glassfish server.
PMCID: PMC3072556  PMID: 21349873
5.  Medie and Info-pubmed: 2010 update 
BMC Bioinformatics  2010;11(Suppl 5):P7.
PMCID: PMC2956400
6.  Investigating heterogeneous protein annotations toward cross-corpora utilization 
BMC Bioinformatics  2009;10:403.
The number of corpora, collections of structured texts, has been increasing, as a result of the growing interest in the application of natural language processing methods to biological texts. Many named entity recognition (NER) systems have been developed based on these corpora. However, in the biomedical community, there is yet no general consensus regarding named entity annotation; thus, the resources are largely incompatible, and it is difficult to compare the performance of systems developed on resources that were divergently annotated. On the other hand, from a practical application perspective, it is desirable to utilize as many existing annotated resources as possible, because annotation is costly. Thus, it becomes a task of interest to integrate the heterogeneous annotations in these resources.
We explore the potential sources of incompatibility among gene and protein annotations that were made for three common corpora: GENIA, GENETAG and AIMed. To show the inconsistency in the corpora annotations, we first tackle the incompatibility problem caused by corpus integration, and we quantitatively measure the effect of this incompatibility on protein mention recognition. We find that the F-score performance declines tremendously when training with integrated data, instead of training with pure data; in some cases, the performance drops nearly 12%. This degradation may be caused by the newly added heterogeneous annotations, and cannot be fixed without an understanding of the heterogeneities that exist among the corpora. Motivated by the result of this preliminary experiment, we further qualitatively analyze a number of possible sources for these differences, and investigate the factors that would explain the inconsistencies, by performing a series of well-designed experiments. Our analyses indicate that incompatibilities in the gene/protein annotations exist mainly in the following four areas: the boundary annotation conventions, the scope of the entities of interest, the distribution of annotated entities, and the ratio of overlap between annotated entities. We further suggest that almost all of the incompatibilities can be prevented by properly considering the four aspects aforementioned.
Our analysis covers the key similarities and dissimilarities that exist among the diverse gene/protein corpora. This paper serves to improve our understanding of the differences in the three studied corpora, which can then lead to a better understanding of the performance of protein recognizers that are based on the corpora.
PMCID: PMC2804683  PMID: 19995463
7.  Evaluating contributions of natural language parsers to protein–protein interaction extraction 
Bioinformatics  2008;25(3):394-400.
Motivation: While text mining technologies for biomedical research have gained popularity as a way to take advantage of the explosive growth of information in text form in biomedical papers, selecting appropriate natural language processing (NLP) tools is still difficult for researchers who are not familiar with recent advances in NLP. This article provides a comparative evaluation of several state-of-the-art natural language parsers, focusing on the task of extracting protein–protein interaction (PPI) from biomedical papers. We measure how each parser, and its output representation, contributes to accuracy improvement when the parser is used as a component in a PPI system.
Results: All the parsers attained improvements in accuracy of PPI extraction. The levels of accuracy obtained with these different parsers vary slightly, while differences in parsing speed are larger. The best accuracy in this work was obtained when we combined Miyao and Tsujii's Enju parser and Charniak and Johnson's reranking parser, and the accuracy is better than the state-of-the-art results on the same data.
Availability: The PPI extraction system used in this work (AkanePPI) is available online at The evaluated parsers are also available online from each developer's site.
PMCID: PMC2639072  PMID: 19073593
8.  Introducing meta-services for biomedical information extraction 
Genome Biology  2008;9(Suppl 2):S6.
We introduce the first meta-service for information extraction in molecular biology, the BioCreative MetaServer (BCMS; ). This prototype platform is a joint effort of 13 research groups and provides automatically generated annotations for PubMed/Medline abstracts. Annotation types cover gene names, gene IDs, species, and protein-protein interactions. The annotations are distributed by the meta-server in both human and machine readable formats (HTML/XML). This service is intended to be used by biomedical researchers and database annotators, and in biomedical language processing. The platform allows direct comparison, unified access, and result aggregation of the annotations.
PMCID: PMC2559990  PMID: 18834497

Results 1-8 (8)