Elsevier Acquisition of Via Oncology Further Utilizes EMR to Personalize Care

In mid-January, Elsevier announced its acquisition of Via Oncology, the nationally recognized leader in oncology pathways responsible for developing clinical decision support tools for cancer care management. Journal of Clinical Pathways spoke with John Danaher, MD, President of Clinical Solutions, Elsevier, and Kathy Lokay, President and CEO, Via Oncology, about how this acquisition will benefit both companies as well as their respective customers.

DanaherMr. Bessette:  Dr Danaher, can you explain the ways in which the resources developed through Via Oncology will help Elsevier in its mission of aiding caregivers and clinicians?

Dr. Danaher:  We are very excited about the recent acquisition of Via Oncology.  Elsevier is world renowned for being the home and training the most trusted evidence-based content for healthcare professionals, doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals.  We have traditionally focused on the referential use cases for those audiences, for those caregivers, and those clinicians in the forms of books and journals.

Over the last few years, we have been more focused on being part of the workflow. In an environment of value-based care and value-based reimbursement, we need to be able to support the longitudinal patient journey.  As we looked for workflow solutions that could, at the point-of-care, support busy clinicians, and particularly in this case in the treatment of oncological diseases and oncological conditions, we found Via Oncology.  Via Oncology very much accelerates Elsevier’s movement into the workflow and into the workflow solutions, all closely tied and embedded into the electronic medical record. 

Mr. Bessette:  On that note of these point-of-care solutions and workflow solutions for clinicians, what are the benefits of integrating specifically clinical pathways into the electronic medical record?

Dr. Danaher:  There are three benefits.  The first one is in this world in which busy clinicians are awash in the latest journals, latest reprints, and the latest studies having to deal with advances in therapeutics, advances in treatment protocols, it becomes increasingly difficult for clinicians to always be at the forefront of integrating this content, staying on top of this knowledge.  That is where Via Oncology comes in.  With their proprietary processes, both in the running of consensus panels and in ensuring that their pathways always reflect evidence-based and state-of-the-art care, we are able to provide this service to busy clinicians again who have the difficult task of staying always abreast of content and innovation.

The second thing that pathways permits is it allows us to be digitally native within the electronic medical record.  Pathways through the various interfaces that exist these days with CDS Hooks, with Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), allows for that two-way communication of being able to pull information and valuable data points about the patient into the actual workflow and by the same token, being able to populate the electronic medical record.  So again, pathways allow us to be able to deliver more personalized care by being able to pull and extract content and data elements from the electronic medical record.

The third thing is that we have a tremendous opportunity with this tight integration of pathways within the electronic medical record.  We have the ability to further power decision making and further power the support of the clinician by enhancing and increasing the logic and the logic engines that support the decision making that clinicians need to make with individual patients.  The individual patient may have differences in renal function, may have differences in white blood cells, may have a number of comorbid conditions. In many ways, pathways are a starting point and a support platform for clinicians to then work to customize and craft that care plan for the individual patient.   What we can do with our pathways and what we are very excited to do is to imbue it with further specificity based upon what logic engines can allow us to do to be able to even enhance and strengthen the pathways.

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