UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


Which Chart Elements Accurately Identify Emergency Department Visits for Suicidal Ideation or Behavior

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Emergency Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Emergency Medicine | Health Information Technology | Health Services Administration | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


In an emergency department (ED) sample, we investigated the concordance between identification of suicide-related visits through standardized comprehensive chart review versus a subset of 3 specific chart elements: ICD-9-CM codes, free-text presenting complaints, and free-text physician discharge diagnoses. The method for this study was review of medical records for adults ( > /=18 years) at 8 EDs across the United States. A total of 3,776 charts were reviewed. A combination of the 3 chart elements (ICD-9-CM, presenting complaints, and discharge diagnoses) provided the most robust data with 85% sensitivity, 96% specificity, 92% PPV, and 92% NPV. These findings highlight the use of key discrete fields in the medical record that can be extracted to facilitate identification of whether an ED visit was suicide-related.


suicide, electronic health records, chart review, emergency department

DOI of Published Version



Arias SA, Boudreaux ED, Chen E, Miller I, Camargo CA Jr, Jones RN, Uebelacker L. Which Chart Elements Accurately Identify Emergency Department Visits for Suicidal Ideation or Behavior? Arch Suicide Res. 2019 Jul-Sep;23(3):382-390. doi: 10.1080/13811118.2018.1472691. Epub 2019 Jun 11. PMID: 29791300; PMCID: PMC6320303. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Archives of suicide research : official journal of the International Academy for Suicide Research

PubMed ID