VA Researching Natural Language Processing In EHRs To Prevent Suicide

Ashley Gold | FierceHealthIT | September 12, 2013

The U.S. Department of Veterans affairs is researching the use of natural language processing within its electronic health records system to automate suicide risk alerts.

According to an announcement from the VA, natural language processing is "part of the technology that makes Google work," and ongoing research at the VA Puget Sound Health System and the University of Washington is seeking to learn how the VA can use it.

VA research has found that past suicide attempts are the most compelling sign of future risk--even stronger than major depression; their studies show that a past suicide attempt raises the odds of going through with suicide by 40 times.