Intermountain, U of Utah Health to develop EHR clinical decision support under $3.8M NCI grant

The National Cancer Institute awarded a team of researchers from Intermountain Healthcare, University of Utah Health and Huntsman Cancer Institute, all based in Salt Lake City, a $3.8 million grant to develop a cancer screening tool.

The tool will comprise an EHR-agnostic clinical decision support platform that detects several types of cancer — including breast and colorectal cancers — and identifies management strategies for high-risk patients. The researchers will work in collaboration with primary care physicians, oncologists and genetic counselors to develop clinical decision support algorithms and interventions.

University of Utah Health will develop the clinical decision support platform with consultation from Intermountain. After demonstrating the system within University of Utah Health, Intermountain researchers will evaluate the solution against its own healthcare delivery system to evaluate how well the application transfers to a separate organization and EHR.

"It is crucial that primary care physicians who are the frontline of care identify patients who are at high risk of developing cancer," said grant co-investigator Scott Narus, PhD, medical informatics director and chief clinical systems architect at Intermountain. "Early diagnosis and screening of cancer greatly increases the chances for successful treatment."

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