OSF Innovation doctor lends expertise to U.S. presidential panel
Clinical informaticist for OSF HealthCare, Jonathan Handler, MD, recently spent two days participating with other experts in a discussion of technology supporting cancer patient navigation held by a panel advising the President of the United States. Dr. Handler’s invitation to participate follows his recently published research studies on breast cancer screening and artificial intelligence (AI) for cancer patient navigators.
The President’s Cancer Panel is a federal advisory committee that reports on barriers to progress in reducing the burden of cancer. This year, the panel is conducting a series of public meetings to discuss the current landscape of patient navigation.
Dr. Handler specializes in digital solutions to optimize care. Along with researchers from OSF HealthCare and the University of Illinois, Dr. Handler published research demonstrating a doubling of cancer screening rates after technology-assisted interventions were implemented for economically disadvantaged women who were late (often two years or more) in their breast cancer screening. Together with another set of researchers from those same institutions, Dr. Handler developed AI to better balance the workload of nurse navigators for cancer patients to avoid burnout and provide the best care.
With technology, the cost to the user is usually the cost of time. For providers and cancer patient navigators, time is a precious resource when they’re overworked. What I have found in my previous work involving technology is that if your solution saves time for patients or for the user – you’re much more likely to see adoption.
Dr. Handler believes AI should be developed which can effectively, ethically and equitably support cancer care, regardless of a person’s race, ethnicity or where they live. OSF HealthCare recently joined a national collaborative to provide input on new AI guidelines.
OSF HealthCare will soon expand cancer services across its Ministry when the OSF Cancer Institute opens on the campus of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria in February 2024. It will offer the second proton-beam therapy location in Illinois as well as serve as a site for clinical trials, advanced treatment, therapy and a wide range of support services.
OSF HealthCare is an integrated health system owned and operated by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, headquartered in Peoria, Illinois. OSF HealthCare has 16 hospitals – 10 acute care, five critical access, 1 transitional care - with 2,131 licensed beds throughout Illinois and Michigan. OSF employs nearly 24,000 Mission Partners across 150+ locations; has two colleges of nursing; operates OSF Home Care Services, an extensive network of home health and hospice services; owns Pointcore, Inc., comprised of health care-related businesses; OSF HealthCare Foundation, the philanthropic arm for the organization; and OSF Ventures, which provides investment capital for promising health care innovation startups. In 2020, OSF OnCall was established, a digital health operating unit, including a hospital-at-home. OSF OnCall delivers care and services when, where and how patients prefer to receive them. OSF HealthCare has been recognized by Fortune as one of the most innovative companies in the country. More at osfhealthcare.org/.
OSF Innovation was launched in 2016 as a multidisciplinary innovation center focused on internal and external innovation to solve the largest health care challenges. More at osfinnovation.org.