Solving Incidental Findings Follow-Up with Automation and Clinical Decision Support

By HealthMyne | April 23, 2019 | Blog

Despite wide-ranging efforts to increase participation in the U.S., low rates for cancer screenings delay critical early detection, and a lack of follow-up on incidental findings exacerbates the problem. Incidental findings follow-up is a significant problem across most other areas of imaging; findings identified by a radiologist often do not receive necessary attention because of the lack of a sufficient follow-up process. And in lung cancer screening, in particular, clinically-significant incidental findings are common. A new white paper from HealthMyne titled “Cancer Screening: Automating Patient Identification and Tracking for Better Outcomes,” offers good news for these largely ineffective processes. Download the free paper here to learn how automation drives more incidental findings follow-up, and can help teams detect and treat more diseases early.

When it comes to incidental findings – such as an incidental liver lesion, cardiac or other finding seen on a lung cancer screening scan – manual processes create serious challenges. Often, these findings indicate the need for a follow-up exam according to established guidelines. However, research shows only 3 of 10 incidentally discovered findings actually receive the follow-up that should have been triggered. Disturbingly, this rate stayed the same even when the radiology report included specific instructions for follow up.

The HealthMyne Incidental Findings Module offers a solution to this dilemma by creating an automated framework for tracking and following up on incidental findings and prompting earlier treatment, more positive results and saved lives. This framework improves patient retention and clinical productivity, and it reduces the liability of a patient developing more serious disease or complications due to insufficient or lack of follow-up.

The white paper examines how automation, combined with clinical decision support, provides a framework for the radiologist and others in the multidisciplinary team for tracking and following up on findings. Guidelines are readily available within the workflow so determinations about further workup can be made more rapidly. There are also structured follow-up recommendations that can be automatically placed in the radiology report so that downstream referrers will have the information needed to make better clinical decisions. Incidental findings are also automatically added to a web-based worklist for further management by care coordinators or navigators, eliminating the need to manually review radiology reports or use error-prone methods such as natural language processing (NLP) to try to identify patients requiring follow-up.

Click here to learn more about how the HealthMyne solution helps ensure that all patients receive the follow-up care they need.