Intermountain, University of Utah Health embark on plan for advanced cancer screening tool

Researchers aim to create a standards-based and scalable platform for individualized cancer screening with a plan to combine EHR and clinical decision support tools.
By Bernie Monegain
01:45 PM
Share
Intermountain and University of Utah Health

University of Utah Hospital teams up with others to manage high-risk patients within primary care settings and also within its broader healthcare system.

Researchers at the University of Utah Health, Intermountain Healthcare, and Huntsman Cancer Institute revealed their intentions to couple electronic health records with advanced clinical decision support to screen for several types of cancer. 

The goal is to identify and manage high-risk patients within primary care settings and also in the broader healthcare system, the hospitals said. 

“It is crucial that primary care physicians who are the frontline of care identify patients who are at high risk of developing cancer,” said Scott Narus, chief clinical systems architect for Intermountain. Narus added that early diagnosis and screening of cancer greatly increases the chances for successful treatment. 

The idea is to couple electronic health records with advanced clinical decision support to screen for several types of cancer and to identify and manage high-risk patients within primary care settings and also in the broader healthcare system.

Researchers note common barriers when it comes to clinical decision support: some EHR systems have limited clinical decision support capabilities: there is minimal sharing of clinical decision support rules among healthcare organizations; existing clinical decision support systems rely on closed architectures

Fueled by a $3.8 million grant from the National Cancer Institute, the three organizations 
will be tackling those challenges. As they see it, there is a critical need for EHR-agnostic clinical decision support platforms that enable sharing across healthcare organizations.

They intend to enable a standards-based and scalable clinical decision support platform for individualized cancer screening to be used across healthcare organizations. To that end, the researchers will extend and solidify two well-established open source CDS Web services based on rule logic – OpenCDS – and information retrieval – OpenInfobutton.”

The researchers plan to work with primary care physicians, oncologists, and genetic counselors, to develop CDS algorithms and interventions to support individualized screening of breast and colorectal cancer.

With consultation from Intermountain, University of Utah Health will be responsible for developing the CDS platform and workflows and demonstrating it in its care delivery system. Intermountain will then evaluate the solution and test its performance within another healthcare system with another EHR.

Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com