Journal of Healthcare Informatics Research

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 107–123 | Cite as

What Happened to Me while I Was in the Hospital? Challenges and Opportunities for Generating Patient-Friendly Hospitalization Summaries

  • Sabita AcharyaEmail author
  • Andrew D. Boyd
  • Richard Cameron
  • Karen Dunn Lopez
  • Pamela Martyn-Nemeth
  • Carolyn Dickens
  • Amer Ardati
  • Jose D. FloresJr
  • Matt Baumann
  • Betty Welland
  • Barbara Di Eugenio
Research Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Special Issue on Health Behavior in the Information Age


Comprehending medical information is a challenging task, especially for people who have not received formal medical education. When patients are discharged from the hospital, they are provided with lengthy medical documents that contain intricate terminologies. Studies have shown that if people do not understand the content of their health documents, they will neither look for new information regarding their illness nor will they take actions to prevent or recover from their health issue. In this article, we highlight the need for generating personalized hospital-stay summaries and several research challenges associated with this task. The proposed directions are directly informed by our ongoing work in generating concise and comprehensible hospitalization summaries that are tailored to suit the patient’s understanding of medical terminologies and level of engagement in improving their own health. Our preliminary evaluation shows that our summaries effectively present required medical concepts.


Discharge summaries Natural language generation Personalization Simplification Patient-centric information 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sabita Acharya
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andrew D. Boyd
    • 2
  • Richard Cameron
    • 3
  • Karen Dunn Lopez
    • 2
  • Pamela Martyn-Nemeth
    • 4
  • Carolyn Dickens
    • 4
  • Amer Ardati
    • 5
  • Jose D. FloresJr
    • 6
  • Matt Baumann
    • 6
  • Betty Welland
    • 6
  • Barbara Di Eugenio
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science, College of EngineeringUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical and Health Information Sciences, College of Applied Health SciencesUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Linguistics, College of Liberal Arts and SciencesUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Department of Biobehavioral Health Science, College of NursingUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  5. 5.Division of Cardiology, College of MedicineUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  6. 6.Cardiology patient advisors, College of Applied Health SciencesUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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