Screening helps OSF HealthCare find women at risk for breast cancer

By | September 24, 2019

The counties surrounding OSF HealthCare, a not-for-profit Catholic health system with facilities in parts of Illinois and Michigan, have a high incidence of breast cancer, with 20 percent of diagnosed patients being younger than 50.

In response, the delivery system is using genetic risk assessment software from CancerIQ to identify women with a genetic predisposition for hereditary cancer, which tends to be a disease with earlier onset and more aggressive than other forms.

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Jim Carlson

OSF HealthCare initially collaborated with CancerIQ in 2015 using a platform in specialty clinics and now it is being rolled out to primary care practices systemwide in a population health management program to reduce cancer disparities and deaths.

So far, OSF HealthCare has screened almost 70,000 women, and one in four have been found to have an elevated risk.

“We need to meet and engage these patients in the primary care setting so we can identify genetic predispositions as early as possible and navigate patients to the right preventive services,” says Naresh Agarwal, MD, regional director of primary care.

“Of all of the U.S. Preventive Task Force recommendations, screening people to identify risk of hereditary cancer is the most important for our patient population,” Agarwal adds. “This is where cancer screening can have a real and immediate impact.”

CancerIQ technology enables providers to identify, evaluate and manage patients over time, all within the workflow of the Epic electronic health record. The software analyzes family history, runs predictive risk models and automates National Comprehensive Cancer Network Clinical Practice Guidelines in oncology, and ensures patients have tailored educational resources and prevention plans.

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“The software offers us something better than we were able to build into our EHR, which is why it was among our top interface priorities for 2019,” says Steve Lehmann, an IT innovation coordinator at OSF HealthCare.

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