Sutter Health deploys AI platform to catch imaging discrepancies

Sutter Health has implemented artificial intelligence technology to analyze imaging data and physicians' notes to improve the Sacramento, Calif.-based health system's care quality and outcomes in diagnostic imaging.

Sutter Health first introduced the technology, an AI-powered quality platform from Ferrum Health, in a pilot program at Sutter Medical Foundation facilities in Sacramento in August 2019, according to a Feb. 18 news release.

The platform's computer vision and natural language processing algorithms analyze CT scans and radiologist reports to flag instances in which the imaging data does not appear to match the radiologist's diagnosis. Those scans then undergo further review, resulting in earlier interventions for easily overlooked nodules and other potentially cancerous abnormalities.

"For those rare instances where a nodule is overlooked, we can in a very quick time period — usually within 24 hours — continue the care process instead of waiting until larger nodules are detected at a later medical visit," Charles McDonnell, MD, a Sutter Medical Group radiologist and associate medical director of risk management, said in the release. "Having a system for quality coverage of our diagnostic decisions makes us stronger, more effective advocates for our patients and gives patients greater comfort and peace of mind."

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