Q&A: Using AI to identify and close gaps in care for cancer patients

Navigating the dynamic landscape of FDA approvals and complex clinical guidelines is an ongoing challenge for healthcare providers.
Authors Ezra Cohen, MD
Chief Medical Officer of Oncology, Tempus

Karen Huelsman, MS, LGC
Precision Oncology Lead and Genetic Counselor at TriHealth Precision Medicine Institute serving TriHealth Cancer and Blood Institute

Recently, Ezra Cohen, Chief Medical Officer at Tempus, sat down with Karen Huelsman, Precision Oncology Lead and Genetic Counselor at TriHealth, to discuss the implementation of Tempus Next as a tool to streamline the adoption of precision care pathways. Learn more about how Tempus Next assists TriHealth’s physicians in adhering to best practice, guideline-directed testing for NSCLC patients, and how the integration of AI algorithms and multi-modal data enhances patient care.

“Identifying patient care gaps without AI is challenging. Our partnership allows us to identify and close care gaps and we have seen an improvement over time. The Tempus Next program is great to have in place as a double check to ensure guideline directed care is accessible for all patients.”

– Karen Huelsman, Precision Oncology Lead and Genetic Counselor at TriHealth Health System


Hello, Karen, and welcome to our webinar. It’s great to have you with us. Could you start by telling us a bit about your role at TriHealth and how it intersects with Tempus’ initiatives?

Karen Huelsman: Absolutely, Ezra. I’m the Precision Oncology Lead and Genetic Counselor at TriHealth. My role is quite dynamic, involving both clinical and administrative responsibilities. I work closely with our lung cancer specialists, and together we’re deeply involved in projects like Tempus Next. My job is to ensure that our medical oncology providers have the genomic information they need for clinical decision-making. I also handle quality metrics for precision oncology and advocate for EMR integration across various labs.

Precision medicine is pivotal at TriHealth. What challenges do you face in its implementation, and how are you overcoming them?

Karen Huelsman: The challenges are manyfold, Ezra. We’re navigating complex guidelines that change often, provider fatigue and burnout, and we want to measure and improve adherence to new guidelines for biomarker testing. We are working toward clinical support that provides relevant guidance at the point of care to streamline workflow for our providers and allow more time for patient care. AI tools like Tempus Next are a game-changer, structuring patient data and delivering actionable insights right at the point of care, making implementation operationally easier.


Before the integration of Tempus Next, how did TriHealth address gaps in care?

Karen Huelsman: Before Tempus Next, we relied on the discrete genomic variance in EPIC, creating reporting dashboards and clinical decision support for our providers. However, we hit a wall when it came to capturing all the necessary information, especially identifying resectable patients. When we engaged with Tempus and conducted a retrospective analysis of our data, it was humbling to discover we had a 30% care gap, despite our best efforts. Tempus Next allows us to assess clinical data more effectively and support clinical decisions, in a way we couldn’t before.

What aspects of Tempus’ AI-enabled Next solution excite you the most?

Karen Huelsman: There are several, Ezra. The ability to identify patients that we otherwise could not and the AI-enabled data structuring that contextualizes clinical records are particularly exciting. The notifications at the point of care, operational ease of implementation and potential for automation are also significant advantages and have been transformative for our institution.

The automation of these systems also means that every patient’s clinical data is evaluated objectively, without implicit human bias or variability. A uniform application of the same algorithm to all patients helps to ensure that everyone receives the same high standard of care, regardless of their background. It’s a powerful way to standardize testing and treatment protocols, which can ensure equitable health outcomes.

Could you share a patient story that illustrates the impact of the EGFR care gap program?

Karen Huelsman: Certainly. One of the first cases we had right after the launch of Tempus Next involved a patient who was flagged for biomarker testing. In this case, the provider, who isn’t a lung specialist and manages a wide variety of cancer types, received a timely reminder through Tempus Next about a patient’s need for biomarker testing. Another provider expressed her gratitude for the nudge, saying, “I appreciate the reminder. I’ll put that on my to-do list for when the patient comes in next week.” The test was ordered 6 days later, and the patient was found to have a PD-L1 positive result, which is invaluable for clinical trial decision-making and therapy determination. The provider acknowledged the value of Tempus Next as a safeguard to ensure that such crucial testing is conducted. It was a clear demonstration of how Tempus Next can close care gaps and provide notification to accelerate the adoption of precision medicine standards.


“Tempus ingested our clinical data and returned insights to support decision making – and did it faster than we could have independently. That was a win.”

– Karen Huelsman, Precision Oncology Lead and Genetic Counselor at TriHealth Health System

What advice do you have for other health systems looking to improve their precision medicine programs?

Karen Huelsman: My advice is to start by understanding AI platforms like Tempus Next. It’s important to have a dedicated individual who can manage the integration and communication between the AI system and healthcare providers. You also need alignment with providers and be open to measuring and improving upon current practices.

How do you see AI becoming an integral part of patient care at TriHealth?

Karen Huelsman: AI is set to become a cornerstone of patient care at TriHealth, helping us meet accreditation goals, streamline workflows, and ensure compliance. It’s also a powerful tool for supporting health equity in tumor biomarker testing. AI applies algorithms objectively to clinical data, which promotes equitable testing and treatment across all patient populations.

Can you tell us more about the quality metrics and analytics that Tempus Next has helped you with?

Karen Huelsman: Sure, Ezra. Tempus Next has been instrumental in providing data we track for our Commission on Cancer program goals. It allowed us to perform quality checks and obtain the necessary information much more quickly than if we did it manually. This capability is a significant advantage helping us to measure baseline and demonstrate improvement in our quality metrics over time, which is essential for accreditation and the overall quality of patient care.

Related Content

View more
  • post image

    ADCs in focus: The next generation of precision medicine in oncology

    Watch this engaging discussion as thought leaders explore the evolving landscape of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) in cancer therapeutics, including resistance mutations in first-gen ADCs, combination strategies with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), and next-gen targets and technologies. Tempus is dedicated to enhancing ADC development by offering comprehensive genomic profiling, multimodal de-identified real-world data (RWD), and AI-enabled solutions, informing target discovery and clinical trial optimization for more personalized therapies.

    Watch replay
  • post image

    Advancing transcriptional cancer therapies with Tempus’ comprehensive life science solutions

    Kronos Bio, a trailblazer in the biopharmaceutical industry, is dedicated to the discovery and development of novel therapies that target transcriptional regulation in cancer. Kronos turned to Tempus’ comprehensive suite of solutions to propel its principal asset from discovery to clinical trials.


    Wednesday, July 31 @ 11am CT

    Integrating Omics in R&D: A new era of biomedical research

    Join us as we explore how multi-omics is reshaping the research landscape. Gain valuable insights from industry leaders as we: dive into the integration of diverse omics data, from NGS to proteomics, in research; discuss the transformative role of multi-omics in understanding complex disease mechanisms; and explore how multi-omics is personalizing clinical research for precision medicine.

    Read more
  • post image

    Accelerating ADC Development with Tempus AI

    Empowering precision and efficiency in ADC therapeutics with advanced data analytics

    Read more