An evaluation of existing text de-identification tools for use with patient progress notes from Australian general practice

Digitized patient progress notes from general practice represent a significant resource for clinical and public health research but cannot feasibly and ethically be used for these purposes without automated de-identification. Internationally, several open-source natural language processing tools have been developed, however, given wide variations in clinical documentation practices, these cannot be utilized without appropriate review. We evaluated the performance of four de-identification tools and assessed their suitability for customization to Australian general practice progress notes.

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