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Q&A with Sarah Cannon’s Andy Corts and HealthSystem CIO, Part 2: Finding the Right Pathways

Andy Corts, CIO of Sarah Cannon Research Institute, was recently featured in a podcast on HealthSystemCIO. He explained how when an individual is diagnosed with cancer, he or she goes from having a primary care physician to having a team of care providers, including nutritionists, surgeons, and radiologists. It can become overwhelming, to put it mildly. It’s precisely why Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare, implemented a system of cancer navigators to help guide patients and their families by coordinating appointments, answering questions, and providing education. “These cancer navigators,” says CIO Andy Corts, “are our most precious resource.”

We saw our navigators go from being able to do outreach to 50 patients a year to more than 250 patients, just by automating the manual process of reading pathology reports.

The challenge came in harnessing the data — which can be complicated in any area but is infinitely more difficult in the “incredibly fragmented” oncology environment. Corts and his team have made it their key priority to combine data sets into a common warehouse and leverage analytics to be able to “view the entire patient journey.” In this interview, he talks about how they’ve been able to define a cancer data model, how they’re partnering with Digital Reasoning to automate manual processes and enable more personalized care, and the journey that brought him to HCA, and eventually, Sarah Cannon.

Kate Gamble and Andy Corts will cover the following in part two:

  • Care navigators — “They’re our most precious resource.”
  • From one PCP to a team of providers
  • Working with Digital Reasoning to analyze pathology reports and automate processes
  • AI models – “They’re built on statistics.”
  • Past experience in IT management & consulting
  • Leading a small team – “It was fun. I like to get my hands dirty.”
  • Sarah Cannon’s mission: “All we do is focus on care delivery.”


Written By
Chris Cashwell

Chris Cashwell is our Vice President of Healthcare Solutions. He describes himself as a “passionate pioneer” in healthcare IT and focuses on improving patient care and health systems’ bottom line. At Digital Reasoning, Chris oversees a dedicated team focused on deploying AI solutions that solve real-world healthcare challenges.

Find Chris on LinkedIn