Identification of acute brain failure using electronic medical records

Dereddi Raja Shekar Reddy, Tarun D. Singh, Pramod K. Guru, Amra Sakusic, Ognjen Gajic, John C. O'Horo, Alejandro A. Rabinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: Up to 80% of critically ill patients have acute neurologic dysfunction syndromes. We evaluated interrater reliability between the examination by the investigator and the charted assessment by the nurse because the accuracy and reliability of detailed data sets extracted from the electronic medical records represents a keystone for creating EMR-based definitions. Materials and methods: We conducted a prospective observational study of intensive care unit (ICU) patients to assess the reliability of charted Confusion Assessment Method for the ICU, Glasgow Coma Scale (GSC), Full Outline of Unresponsiveness, and Richmond Agitation Sedation Scale (RASS) scores, and a composite measure of ABF defined as new-onset coma or delirium. Trained investigator blinded to nursing assessments performed the neurologic evaluations that were compared with nursing documentation. Results: A total of 202 observations were performed in 55 ICU patients. Excellent correlation was noted for GCS and Full Outline of Unresponsiveness scores on Bland-Altman plots (Pearson correlation 0.87 and 0.92, respectively). Correlation for Confusion Assessment Method for the ICU was also high (κ= 0.86; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.70-1.01). Richmond Agitation Sedation Scale had good agreement when scores were dichotomized as oversedated (less than - 2) vs not oversedated, with κ= 0.76 (95% CI, 0.54-0.98). Investigator assessment and nurse charting were highly concordant (κ= 0.84; 95% CI, 0.71-0.99). Conclusion: Neurologic assessments documented on the EMR are reliable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-16
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Critical Care
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Acute brain failure
  • Coma
  • Delirium
  • Electronic digital signature
  • ICU

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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