Grant Application

David Brent, MD, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC, and Rich Tsui, MD, Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of Pittsburgh

Proposed Innovation

Suicide is a serious public health problem that affects people of all ages. It is the 10th leading cause of death for Americans overall and the second leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults aged 15-29.

Through this innovative project, an algorithm will be developed to identify patients at risk for suicide or suicidal behavior using data mined from UPMC electronic health records, following standards established by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) to protect the privacy and security of sensitive patient data.

Improvements in Action

Machine learning will generate data that will be used to develop a suicide risk calculator and decision support tool to alert doctors working in primary care, emergency medicine, and mental health. In addition, to predicting suicide risk, this tool would direct doctors to next steps, or interventions, to take to prevent patient suicide.

Intended Outcomes

Having a system in place to identify and intervene with patients at-risk of suicide has the potential to reduce rates of suicide behaviors and deaths.