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Table 3 List of the most frequent Read codes used in conjunction with free text containing keywords

From: Optimising the use of electronic health records to estimate the incidence of rheumatoid arthritis in primary care: what information is hidden in free text?

Read code Frequency Overall rank Rheumatoid arthritis rank Inflammatory arthritis rank Positive RhF test rank Synovitis rank
Letter from specialist 2576 1 1 1 1 1
Seen in rheumatology clinic 1979 2 2 2 2 2
Incoming mail NOS 770 3 4 3 4 3
Rheumatoid factor 592 4 3 10 3  
Rheumatoid arthritis 546 5 6 11 5 6
Patient reviewed 482 6 9 5 7 5
Pain in joint - arthralgia 467 7 11 6 8 4
Had a chat to patient 345 8   17 6 7
Rheumatoid factor screening test 313 9 5   9  
Incoming mail 253 10 13 9 13 8
History / symptoms 239 11 8   10  
Seen by rheumatologist 215 12 14 8 15 9
Communication from: 208 13 12 19 14 10
Arthritis 197 14   4 11 12
Advice to patient - subject 191 15 7   20  
MED3 - doctor’s statement 186 16 10 7 18  
Telephone encounter 169 17 18 16 12  
Arthralgia of unspecified site 90 18    17 13
Hand pain 90 19    16 14
Suspected condition 67 20 16 12   
Nursing care blood sample taken 59 21    19  
Seen in hospital out-pat. 56 22 20    17
R.A. latex test 53 23 15    
Incoming mail processing 46 24   14   15
Serum rheumatoid antigen level 44 25 17    
Letter from consultant 34 26 19    
Synovitis or tenosynovitis NOS 30 27     11
Synovitis and tenosynovitis 25 28     16
Arthropathy NOS 21 29   13   
Examination of patient 21 30     18
Wrist joint pain 18 31     19
Seen in orthopaedic clinic 18 32   15   
Arthropathy NOS 17 33     20
MED3 issued to patient 15 34   18   
Seronegative arthritis 13 35   20