The San using AI to automate multidisciplinary team meetings

Sydney Adventist Hospital is using artificial intelligence to automatically populate its cancer multidisciplinary team meeting (MDT) system with pathology information using natural language processing from local company Health Language Analytics (HLA).

The hospital, better known as the San, has also moved to enable its MDT meetings to be held remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, and even launched its new urology and gynaecological oncology modules remotely due to the crisis.

The San rolled out a new integrated cancer information management system (ICIMS) from HLA's sister firm iCIMS at the hospital's Integrated Cancer Centre in June last year.

The new system is built on iCIMS’ LATTICE platform and is aimed at streamlining and automating data preparation, data collection and workflows for each of the San's tumour stream MDTs. Now, it is harnessing HLA's NLP capability to automatically pre-populate the correct data fields in preparation for the MDT meetings.

The San uses HLA’s CliniSearch application to identify relevant data from an HL7 feed provided by pathology provider Douglass Hanly Moir (DHM) for the San’s cancer patients.

The director of the Integrated Cancer Centre, Gavin Marx, said this was a real advantage for the clinical team and patient care processes.

“Pathology is a key component of cancer MDT meetings and there is a significant amount of data generated from each pathology report,” Associate Professor Marx said.

“To have the ability to automatically extract and use this data in a structured format in the context of other available information for clinical decision-making at the meeting saves us a significant amount of time and effort, and enables us to use the data for research purposes.”

The San uses 16 different pathology templates covering breast, lung, urology and gynaecological oncology tumour streams in the extraction service as a joint effort by the San, DHM and HLA. The 16 reports contain a total of 616 data fields, all of which are identified, extracted from the reports and then coded to SNOMED CT using natural language processing before being fed into the MDT system for presentation at a patient discussion.

This is now fully automated so it uses no critical staff time and prevents manual transcription errors. Director of histopathology at DHM Warick Delprado said this was a valuable initiative, allowing the pathology provider to work in partnership on a project that has mutual benefits for the San and all patients.

HLA’s AI is able to fill in the pathology data fields in the MDT meeting system so that each patient discussion is as fully informed as possible. With the MDT meetings being moved online due to COVID-19, this ensures that all relevant pathology information is available to all participants remotely, and a high level of patient care is still available.

The San is rolling out new tumour streams within the ICIMS system over time thanks to a donation from the San Foundation. It went live with the lung tumour stream in June last year, followed by the breast tumour stream, and more recently it saw the remote launch of the the urology and gynaecological oncology modules.

The remote set-up enables cancer case-viewing and treatment-planning on a centralised patient cancer record during the online meetings with surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, nurses and allied health services, who may be working from premises all across Sydney.

Urologist Henry Woo said the transition to online MDT registrations for prostate patients has been seamless and very important especially during the COVID crisis.

“Having the ability to see the surgical and pathological data automatically available in the system has been vital to our MDT discussions,” Professor Woo said.

Another benefit is that pathologists and radiologists involved in the MDT now get access to the patient lists and required reviews in real-time. Previously a batch process the day before the meeting often left them needing to work late into the night to compile the required data in time for the meeting.

HLA says that in addition, the data are now automatically populated in ICIMS as soon as a pathology report for a San patient is authorised by the pathologist. These abilities also significantly reduce the workload on the MDT meeting coordinator while increasing data richness and accuracy at the meeting.

The ICIMS solution presents the same functionality to each user whether they are working in a combined conference room or logging in remotely.

HLA CEO Jon Patrick said adding AI-based natural language processing to the MDT data workflows would reduce admin time and improve accuracy while giving greater depth to the pathology information available at each MDT meeting.

iCIMS was recently granted a patent for its LATTICE technology platform by the United States Patent and Trade Mark Office.

Posted in Australian eHealth

Tags: iCIMS, Health Language Analytics, Sydney Adventist Hospital

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