Author Archives: haralson

Today, Stephanie and I worked on creating Person and Patient objects in Python (Katie is away at a conference, go Katie!). I've never used Python for object-oriented programming before, so I had to learn the basics of class definitions, how constructors work, etc. The objects we created are still pretty basic and static. The Person class has attributes like name and age, and the Patient class inherits these attributes along with others such as current medication. The next step will be to bring our code together with what Katie has put together, and to pull information from our XML files and link that data with each person/patient object.

After spending some time writing a program to read in our patient files, we've begun working with regular expressions in Python. First, we worked through many exercises to reacquaint ourselves with regular expressions in general. Then, we worked on implementing these regular expressions in Python. As a simple test, I wrote a program to pull the main text out of an xml file. The next step would be to retrieve more specific data and store it in a useful format.

Now that we've all gotten our CITI certifications sorted, we'll be programming soon! We've decided to use Python for this project. I'm excited for this, because I haven't used Python since my first semester here at Simmons. We've also looked at several records and discussed how we will be working with and analyzing the data.  For now, we are working with a small set of clinical narratives. Our first step will be to write a simple program to read in our files. Hopefully we will have a private server set up soon where we will be able to work with the full range of records.