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Precision Medicine Helps Avoid Drug-Gene Interaction

Although precision Medicine holds promise in terms of healthcare delivery, putting an effective genetic data-driven approach in place can be difficult. The team at the Murfreesboro Medical Clinic and SurgiCenter in Tennessee has effectively implemented pharmacogenomic information at the point of care, much to the delight of both doctors and patients. Cote, who will present at HIMSS21 in August, described the health system’s pharmacogenomic information programme and the efforts MMC took to make it a reality.

Dr. Nicolas Cote, chief medical information officer and president at MMC, said, “Our physicians – like those at many other organizations – recognize the value in identifying potential drug-gene Interaction when prescribing medications. They represent a significant patient safety issue and have tremendous implications about how effective treatment is and how quickly patients begin to benefit from the medications we prescribe.”

According to Cote, PGx testing is a logical way to discover and avoid drug-gene Interaction, but doctors must be able to order tests and view results within their workflows while making clinical decisions. We discovered three specific hurdles to this as we started our programme: provider comprehension of PGx and how it may be used in patient care; perceived cost of PGx tests and whether or not insurance would pay them.

There was difficulty in accessing test data during clinical decision-making. MMC has picked a set of providers who will collaborate with the PGx initiative as a pilot group. Simultaneously, it collaborated with a PGx lab partner on a patient financial aid initiative to help patients with uninsured testing costs. When it came to important technological issues, Cote explained that the team sought to make sure that PGx data was integrated into standard workflow. Within the patient context, the tool they chose runs as an app on top of the electronic health record desktop.

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