Case studies, associations, academic medical centers provide best practices
The HIMSS study also indicated most health care leaders currently turn to case studies and peer associations for best practices in this specialized field, including academic medical centers such as UPMC, which are at the forefront of precision medicine and the genomic data management that goes along with it.
For instance, UPMC is broadening its role in pharmacogenomics under the clinical and scientific leadership of the following specialists: UPMC Executive Vice President and Chief Medical and Scientific Officer at UPMC Steven Shapiro, MD; Steven E. Reis, MD, Associate Vice Chancellor for Clinical Research, Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh; and Philip Empey, PharmD, PhD, Associate Director for Pharmacogenomics at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC Institute for Precision Medicine.
Through strategic partnerships, UPMC in 2015 launched a genomic data-driven program to fine-tune a medication regimen commonly prescribed to patients undergoing cardiac catheterization. The program’s initial successes have led UPMC to include more patients and a broader number of gene-drug pairs, making it one of the largest pharmacogenomics testing programs in the U.S. today.
Integral to the UPMC precision medicine strategy is the ability to sequence DNA and RNA and rapidly provide analysis of genetic defects. UPMC does this through the UPMC Genome Center, a high-throughput CAP-accredited and CLIA-certified lab with compute-intensive data processing.
Greater goal is lower costs, improved outcomes for patients
Additionally, because UPMC is an integrated delivery and financial system with its own health plan, the health system is better positioned to improve care delivery and create savings from the program. “If pharmacogenomic results for a medication that’s routinely prescribed as a standard of care show that it is not effective in a specific individual, a second medication can be utilized to meet the needs of the patient. That ultimately translates to better care and reduced costs,” Dr. Bart explained.
That greater goal of improved patient outcomes and lower cost of care can be realized across organizations and the health care industry.
“We still have a fairly long road to go in health care to deliver on the broad value of precision medicine,” Dr. Bart said. “But, it’s important for everyone to remember there is a measurable precision medicine footprint, and every health care system has experienced benefits to date.
“Now, what needs to occur in health care is for the breadth and depth of precision medicine to really take hold so it’s available to a much broader patient and consumer base. And, the only way to have that happen is if we continue to invest in precision medicine so all of us can truly benefit from it.”
Learn more about genomic data management
The CCM has additional resources on genomic data management at health systems.
Download the research report, “Genomic Data in Health Systems,” to read about results from a survey of health systems.
Register for the CCM’s upcoming webinar, “Genomic Data in Health Systems: Why it isn’t too early for an enterprise wide strategy,” for insights, analysis, and commentary from health system genomics and IT leaders.