Geisinger Uses AI Technology in Fight Against Lung Cancer

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Geisinger has begun using a new patient management system to expand its ability to identify and manage patients with incidentally identified lung abnormalities, as well as manage those eligible for lung cancer screening.

Nationally, incidental abnormalities are found about 40% of the time during imaging tests that are unrelated to the reason the test was ordered. In 2020, Geisinger implemented the STAIR™ Program (which stands for System to Track Abnormalities of Importance Reliably) to help manage these patients. If an incidental lung abnormality is found, the provider refers the patient to the STAIR team, which evaluates the patient and establishes a care plan.

“The mission of the STAIR program is to ensure that all patients with important radiology findings get the care they need at the time they need it — the first time, every time,” said Yatin Mehta, M.D., Geisinger pulmonologist and STAIR Program director.

The program has made sure patients have follow-up care, but referring, tracking and managing patients was time-consuming. The new patient management technology, in partnership with Denver-based health company Eon, automatically enrolls patients with an incidental finding in the STAIR program. The Eon system’s AI-driven workflow tracks the patient’s journey and flags the care team when necessary for timely follow-up care.

“Tracking patients behind the scenes, automating workflows and removing busywork not only enables the care team to manage and bring back significantly more patients, but also frees them up to spend more time on direct patient care,” said Nathan Boehlke, Eon director of implementation. 

“The STAIR program and lung cancer screening program are two important ways that we can catch cancer earlier when the patient has a chance to be cured,” Dr. Mehta said. “We’re excited to work with Eon on innovation that’s making a difference by allowing our staff to manage more patients more efficiently — and ultimately saving lives with earlier intervention.”