Community Healthcare System and Eon partner to help detect cancer in its earliest stages


Denver-based health tech leader Eon announced that it is partnering with Community Healthcare System to power their lung and breast cancer care programs. The hospitals of Community Healthcare System: Community Hospital, Munster, St. Catherine Hospital, East Chicago, St. Mary Medical Center, Hobart, and Community Stroke & Rehabilitation Center, Crown Point, are using Eon Essential Patient Management (EPM) computer solutions for patient management and the identification, capture and tracking of incidental findings. An incidental finding occurs when a suspicious abnormality is found on an imaging exam being done for an unrelated reason.

Each year, 200–300 million radiology scans are performed in the U.S. and 25 percent of them have incidental findings. These findings are often the first sign of an underlying condition. In order for proper care and resolution, each one of these findings needs accurate identification and follow-up. Unfortunately, that is not happening often enough. Screening programs, while being effective, don’t capture all of the findings. For example, 95 percent of lung nodules are found incidentally and 50 percent of all incidental breast findings fall outside of screening eligibility.

With Eon EPM, Community Healthcare System is ensuring these missed opportunities are captured and followed up on. Eon EPM is the only market-available software with the necessary technology to identify patients with incidental breast findings from radiology exams-with 95 percent accuracy-and track their follow-up.

Eon EPM also is able to capture lung nodules with 98 percent accuracy. The end result is saving lives. With Eon EPM, more data is gathered, organized and shared per evidence-based guidelines than before with the healthcare team for patients at risk for potentially life-threatening diseases.

“The incidental identification and patient management capabilities of EPM Breast set it apart as healthcare’s only software option for a comprehensive breast program. It offers one solution for both screening and incidental patient populations,” explains Dr. Scott Skibo, Chief Medical Officer at Eon. “Together, the EPM Lung Cancer Screening and the EPM Lung modules deliver the ideal solution for a comprehensive lung program, ensuring all patients get the care they need and no-one falls through the cracks.”

Eon EPM uses Computational Linguistics, a branch of Artificial Intelligence (AI), to extract abnormal findings and clinically relevant information from radiology reports. It is the only computer-based solution to identify incidental findings on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), X-ray exams and Computed Tomography (CT) scans.

Through its partnership with Eon, Community Healthcare System will be able to make great strides toward fighting lung and breast cancer by detecting these diseases when treatment is most effective.

“Finding breast and lung cancers at the earliest stages is the goal of every cancer program in the country,” said Dr. Jonathon Lee, Medical Director of Cancer Services, Community Healthcare System. “Cancer is very beatable when it is treated in the early stages before it spreads and has a chance to take over. With Eon EPM, we now have an amazing tool to help us in this battle.”

Community Healthcare System hopes to achieve a stage shift in how incidental lung and breast findings are identified and managed, a critical step in the fight against two of the most common forms of cancer in the U.S.

“With this system, we can identify the cancers long before the patient even has symptoms and use the software to track the patient from diagnosis to treatment,” Dr. Lee said. “It will help us make sure that someone with an incidental finding is detected and followed up with a specialist in our hospital system. The physicians and nurses in the Community Healthcare System are dedicated to beating this disease and now we have one of the best available weapons to help us win the war against cancer.”

Cloud-based EPM uses the same dashboard for all its disease modules making integration at Community Healthcare System seamless. EPM allows staff to manage both patient populations on a single interface. This saves valuable time that they can now spend on achieving new heights in patient care.