The San rolls out iCIMS cancer information management system for MDTs

The Sydney Adventist Hospital (the San) is currently automating its cancer services multi-disciplinary team meetings (MDTs) using a new integrated cancer information management system (ICIMS) from the Sydney firm Innovative Clinical Information Management Systems (iCIMS).

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 10 tumour stream MDTs. MDT meetings bring together a team of healthcare professionals to determine a patient's treatment plan and are widely used in cancer care.

This project is part of the San's plans for a cancer centre of excellence, including its state-of-the-art multi-disciplinary meeting room (pictured above), to become the leading cancer service in Australia.

According to iCIMS managing director Ali Besiso, ICIMS creates a closed-loop cancer MDT management system that will increase patient safety and service while significantly reducing the workload on clinicians.

The implementation includes at least eight integration points with the San’s electronic clinical systems, including the SanCare EMR for clinical details, the San’s PAS for patient demographics, operating theatres for surgical data, pathology for targeted cancer data, Day Infusion Centre system for systemic therapy data, and the radiation-oncology database for radiotherapy data.

“ICIMS enables automatic delivery of all critical patient data to present the full patient story in a single patient-centric view at the MDT meeting,” Mr Besiso said. “Preparation time and effort by clinical and ancillary staff is significantly reduced, data collection is comprehensive, and decision-making is thus better informed.”

Mr Besiso said the system will drive a universal streamlined referral process across tumour streams so that MDT clinicians can electronically refer and register patients to MDT meetings from anywhere, including remotely.

Pathologists, radiologists, nuclear medicine specialists and other diagnostic specialists can easily access the system at any time leading up to an MDT meeting to prepare their cases at their own convenience, he said.

During an MDT meeting, ICIMS generates clinical summaries auto-populated with all available clinical information required for case discussion. Treatment recommendations are recorded in real-time on the system for follow-up and actioning.

Finally, the MDT summaries from each meeting are immediately sent electronically into the hospital’s EMR, enabling easy access for clinicians, distribution to others involved in the patient’s care, monitoring of the patient journey and timely follow up, so closing the information and action-taking loops.

Gavin Marx, the clinical director of the San Integrated Cancer Centre, said the system was proving to be an important collaboration between the San and iCIMS.

“The accelerating pace of improving care and treatment of our patients at the San is founded on complex multidisciplinary collaboration through efficient access to all the critical information we need for care planning and driving ongoing research,” Associate Professor Marx said.

“Our ICIMS is the bedrock for reliable collection, analysis and presentation of big data information for our multidisciplinary teams.”

Pathology feed

The San is also providing the pathology feed into ICIMS via Health Language Analytics’ HORIZON CliniSearch platform, which the San began using in 2015. HLA is iCIMS' sister company and both were established by well-known computer scientist Jon Patrick.

HORIZON’s clinical natural language processing (NLP) extracts targeted cancer content in prose pathology reports and sends it to ICIMS to populate the structured pathology data items of an MDT case. The San's CliniSearch implementation currently contains over two million fully indexed and coded clinical reports in its data store, which now will be connected to ICIMS.

Professor Patrick, who is leading the NLP branch of the project, said that this was “a ground-breaking advance in bringing an industrial-grade NLP pipeline to the front and centre of clinical workflow”.

The project was developed in consultation with the MDT clinicians, with user-group workshops and agile design. The lung tumour stream went live last week, with the breast stream set to go live next week. Eventually, all 10 will use the system.

San CIO Chris Williams said iCIMS and HLA have both the local and international experience in oncology and MDT systems together with expertise in clinical NLP environments.

“The ICIMS application, supported by CliniSearch’s NLP extraction pipeline, interfaces to just about all of the hospital’s key systems, including our EMR,” Mr Williams said.

“This provides us with a strong platform to underpin quality care and treatment at the San for now and into the future.”

As well as managing patients in an MDT environment, the system facilitates research, auditing, and automated reporting to such organisations as hospital operations for analytics, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons for data collection, cancer institutes for MDT statistics, and the NSW Cancer Registry for case recording and clinical details.

Mr Besiso said the platform has given the San the ability to install a solution that is tailored to its vision.

“The ability to provide tailored modules for each of the 10 tumour streams, all within a single solution architecture, achieves the best of both worlds of enterprise and best-of-breed solutions,” he said.

iCIMS oncology solutions are also implemented at the Parkville Precinct in Melbourne and St George Hospital in NSW, while HLA's NLP technology is being used in the ground-breaking California Cancer Register (CCR) project.

Pictured is the San's multidisciplinary team meeting room. Photo courtesy of Sydney Adventist Hospital.

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Posted in Australian eHealth

Tags: iCIMS, Health Language Analytics, Multi-disciplinary meetings, Sydney Adventist Hospital

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