Baptist Health Hardin recognized as EON Center of Excellence for Incidental Pulmonary Nodules

Baptist Health Hardin. September 20, 2023

ELIZABETHTOWN, KY - (Sept. 19, 2023)Baptist health Hardin has been recognized by the EON Center of Excellence (ECOE) as an EON Center of Excellence for Incidental Pulmonary Nodules. 

EON is software that works in tandem with Epic, the hospital’s electronic medical records system, to help healthcare practitioners monitor incidental pulmonary nodules. For patients diagnosed with lung cancer, this monitoring system helps ensure that patients are getting the follow-up care and screenings they need.

“Receiving a diagnosis is the first step of the journey that is cancer,” said Robert Ramey, president of Baptist Health Hardin. “Being recognized as an EON Center of Excellence demonstrates our commitment to being there for our patients through every step of that journey by delivering excellent care and compassionate support.”

ECOE standards include a strong focus on incidental pulmonary nodules; improved and centralized workflow processes; and adherence to clinical-based guidelines supported by data-driven measurements that help promote improved patient outcomes.

Baptist Health Hardin was accredited as an ECOE Gold Tier program. To achieve ECOE Gold Tier status, facilities must meet and exceed specific benchmarks for follow-up care.

The EON recognition is a testament to the strong, comprehensive pulmonary and oncological care offered at Baptist Health Hardin,” said Dan Martin, executive director of Oncology and Rehabilitation Services. “Not only are we able to offer advanced diagnostics and treatment, but we are also able to track at-risk patients throughout their lives so they get care when they need it, giving them the best chance for positive outcomes and a longer life.”

ECOE Gold Tier programs demonstrate excellence in patient follow-up and return rates, and efforts to ensure patient adherence to screenings and treatment. The ECOE Gold Tier is a nod to facilities that demonstrate a strong commitment to all aspects of managing the care of patients with incidental pulmonary nodules so they get the right care at the right time.

The program is important to patient care by making sure patients understand next steps, communicating with patients and providers about exam results and upcoming visits, and proactively taking the necessary steps to ensure that patients are getting the care they need.

The ECOE designation comes just four months after Baptist Health Hardin introduced robot-assisted lung bronchoscopy, a same-day procedure that helps physicians diagnose and treat lung cancer. The Ion™ endoluminal system is designed to help physicians safely and quickly access nodules in the tiniest airways of the lung, which are more difficult to access using traditional diagnostic methods.

Robot-assisted bronchoscopy is helping patient outcomes by allowing physicians to find nodules when they are smaller and at the most treatable stages. With Ion, patients receive a quicker diagnosis and are fast-tracked into an individualized, comprehensive treatment plan. With EON software, healthcare practitioners can more closely monitor patient care to ensure that patients are staying the course of treatment and returning for scheduled follow-up visits and screenings.

Both robot-assisted bronchoscopy and the ability to monitor patients’ follow-up care are giving patients a new advantage over lung cancer, which is the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States.  There are no symptoms in the early and most curable stages of the disease. With early detection and prompt surgical treatment, the cure rate is 92 percent.

An annual lung CT screening test, which uses a low dose of radiation, can detect cancer when it’s small. The non-invasive screening is recommended for those most at risk for lung cancer: those over age 50 who have smoked; those who once smoked heavily but have quit; those with a history of lung cancer; and those with other risk factors such as a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or a past or current exposure to asbestos.

If you are at risk for lung cancer, ask your provider about a low-dose CT lung scan or visit for more information.