Predicting Suicide Attempts and Suicide Deaths Using Electronic Health Records

September 25, 2018
Free for AMIA members and non-members; no fee.
Gregory Simon, MD, MPH

Suicide accounted for nearly 45,000 deaths in the United States in 2016. Unfortunately, tools currently used to predict an individual’s risk of a suicide attempt or dying by suicide, such as brief self-report measures, have only moderate accuracy. Speaker Gregory Simon, MD, MPH, a senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, was the lead author on a paper published online on May 24, 2018, in the American Journal of Psychiatry in which Dr. Simon and colleagues describe a new model that outperforms existing self-report tools in predicting suicide attempts and suicide deaths in the 90 days following a mental health diagnosis.

The model used data from electronic health records (EHRs) provided by seven major health systems and found that of all the variables included in the model—mental health diagnoses, substance use diagnoses, use of mental health emergency and inpatient care, history of self-harm, and scores on the Patient Health Questionnaire (a standardized depression questionnaire)—were the strongest predictors of suicide attempt and death. Dr. Simon will describe the study and discuss the limitations of this and related approaches to predict rare events.

This webinar will cover big data applied to mental health, suicide risk prediction, and/or actionable predictive modeling of rare clinical events.

Learning Objectives

During this webinar, you will learn about:

  • Suicide risk factors
  • The specific study done by Simon et al. (Am J Psychiatry, 2018)
  • How suicide risk prediction models may reduce death by suicide when integrated with evidence-supported approaches to suicide prevention
  • The Mental Health Research Network

Speaker Information

Gregory Simon, MD, MPH
Senior Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute
Psychiatrist, Washington Permanente Medical Group

Greg Simon, MD, MPH, is a psychiatrist and senior investigator who is well-known for extensive research on practical approaches to improving mental health care. Dr. Simon leads the Mental Health Research Network (MHRN), a consortium of research centers affiliated with 13 large health systems across the United States. This network, funded through a cooperative agreement with the National Institute of Mental Health, aims to improve the efficiency, relevance, and impact of mental health clinical and health services research. Now in its second five-year funding cycle, the MHRN is exploring a broad range of issues—including using mobile devices for mental health clinical assessments, improving heart health in people with serious mental illness, using electronic medical records to improve follow-up care for depression, and understanding the causes of racial and ethnic disparities in mental health care.

Dr. Simon is an editor for the Cochrane Collaboration’s depression and anxiety review group and sits on the editorial boards for General Hospital Psychiatry and Psychiatric Services. He also chairs the scientific advisory board for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Dr. Simon has practiced adult psychiatry in Kaiser Permanente Washington's Behavioral Health Service since 1990 and holds an appointment as a research professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington.