Adventist Health to Integrate Cancer Risk Tool Directly into EHR

Jared Kaltwasser
JUNE 25, 2019
cancer risk,genetic cancer,cancer spread,oncology

Adventist Health, a California-based health system, is putting cancer risk prediction tools at the fingertips of every one of its providers.

The health system, which serves 80 communities on the West Coast and in Hawaii, has signed a deal to expand its partnership with CancerIQ by integrating the cancer risk-assessment tool directly into Adventist Health’s electronic health record (EHR) system. The move is designed to streamline the way the health system identifies patients at a significant genetic risk of cancer and help providers manage next steps to prevent or diagnose the disease in such patients.

“Supported by the CancerIQ technology, Adventist Health will now be able to identify candidates for genetic testing, offer education and testing and provide counseling across the network and various care settings — including primary care, obstetrics and gynecology, breast imaging, gastroenterology and oncology,” said Candace Westgate, M.D., in a press release.

Westgate directs the Adventist Health Early All-Around Detection (AHEAD) Program at Adventist Health, a population hereditary cancer risk assessment initiative.

CancerIQ works by integrating key patient data like family history and integrating it with National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines and predictive analytics models. About 10% of new cancer diagnoses are for hereditary cancers. Patients at a high risk for genetic cancers can take steps large and small to avoid cancer or mitigate the risk, including through genetic testing and even preventive mastectomies. However, such steps can only be taken if the patient knows their risk profile.

Feyi Olopade Ayodele, Cancer IQ’s co-founder and CEO, told Inside Digital Health™ that putting CancerIQ directly into the EHR will make it easier for providers to take advantage of the tool.

“Primary care providers in particular are less likely to turn away from their EHRs to other solutions,” Ayodele said. “We no longer have to ask providers to leave their workflow. We’re bringing CancerIQ to them.”

About 20% of patients who are screened require some kind of follow-up action as a result of the assessment, she said. At Adventist, patients with high risk profiles are directed to one of several specialty-based “circles of care.” These circles are designed to promote better coordination of care and to offer advanced screenings and other procedures.

In cases where patients are not identified as being at high risk of cancer, Ayodele said the system still functions as a way to boost awareness of the importance of cancer screening.

“For patients at average risk, undergoing the genetic evaluation process makes cancer prevention more top of mind and improves mammography and colonoscopy screening rates,” she said.

The Adventist deal is the latest in a string of partnerships and programs CancerIQ has launched with health systems. Back in March, the company announced that a partnership with Illinois-based Riverside Healthcare resulted in 2.5 times as many patients being identified as at a high risk for cancer compared to the previous year and double the number of patients deemed eligible for ongoing MRI surveillance.

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