Report: Genomic data management is vital to precision medicine efforts at health systems

Reports

Download recently published report to read why health systems should pursue an enterprise-wide strategy for genomic data

Genomics is at the forefront of medicine and in the headlines — from new vaccine approaches to tracing COVID-19 to using a patient’s own modified cells to treat disease, the importance of DNA in science and treatment is clear.

A new report from the Center for Connected Medicine (CCM), Genomic Data in Health Systems, supports the view that health systems are increasingly focused on genomics, finding that 90 percent of respondents say their systems now offer genomic/genetic testing.

Further, the research finds that health systems are almost unanimously striving to implement genomic data management strategies to realize value from this new information.

Health system focus on genomic data management suggests coming groundswell

The near-universal pursuit of genomic data management strategies may signal growing interest in incorporating genomics across health systems. Previous research published by the CCM in November 2019 found fewer than a quarter of health system survey respondents said genomic data was an integrated data source at their institution. That research also found that more than 70 percent reported low maturity or no deployment of precision medicine efforts.

The resounding focus on genomics identified in the CCM’s newest report, Genomic Data in Health Systems, suggests a coming groundswell in the use of genomic/genetic data in patient care. Early adopters are likely anticipating a competitive advantage over other health systems, experts noted.

“Among survey respondents, there was a near unanimous focus on genomic data management, signaling that health systems anticipate upcoming growth and increased use of genomics,” said Philip Empey, PharmD, Ph.D., associate director for pharmacogenomics at the University of Pittsburgh/UPMC Institute for Precision Medicine and associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. “We are pursuing an integrated, enterprise-wide strategy for genomic data management to enable a range of services – both now and in the future – to continue bringing world-class care to our patients.”

“Among survey respondents, there was a near unanimous focus on genomic data management, signaling that health systems anticipate upcoming growth and increased use of genomics,” said Philip Empey, PharmD, Ph.D.

Majority of respondents anticipate genomics partners to grow

The availability and utility of genomic data requires investment in infrastructure and technology by health systems. While a single end-to-end technology solution would likely make implementation of an enterprise-wide system much easier to accomplish, survey respondents said their health systems are working with an average of two vendor partners in each of the following areas pertaining to genomic/genetic data:

  • Production
  • Storage
  • Analysis

More than half of respondents expect the number of partners they work with to grow in the coming years – suggesting a single solution may not be available in the foreseeable future.

Enterprise-wide approach may be key to pursuit of precision medicine as a differentiator

The report finds that a true enterprise-wide approach to genomic data management — as opposed to individual implementations — is seen by health systems as key to precision medicine efforts. Two-thirds of survey respondents say their data management strategy is, or will be, at the enterprise-wide level.

The top-ranked “extremely valuable” criteria for a genomic data management platform identified by respondents were:

  • The ability to facilitate re-interpretation of genomic data and support clinician notification
  • Consume test results from a wide variety of molecular labs
  • Offer in-workflow integration with multiple electronic health records
  • Ability to couple with third-party clinical decision support tools

 

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