Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Can Automated Alerts in the Electronic Health Record Encourage Referrals for Genetic Counseling and Testing Among Patients at High Risk for Hereditary Cancer Syndromes?

Zorn KK, Simonson ME, Faulkner JL, Carr CL, Acuna J, Hall TL, Jenkins JF, Drummond KL, Curran GM. Can Automated Alerts in the Electronic Health Record Encourage Referrals for Genetic Counseling and Testing Among Patients at High Risk for Hereditary Cancer Syndromes? JCO oncology practice. 2022 Jul 1; 18(7):e1219-e1224.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information vaww.hsrd.research.va.gov/dimensions/

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions



Abstract:

PURPOSE: Up to 10% of cancers may be associated with an inherited mutation that increases cancer risk. National guidelines emphasize referral for genetic counseling and testing for patients whose personal and/or family history increases their risk of having a hereditary cancer syndrome. METHODS: To increase appropriate referrals for cancer genetic counseling and testing, we piloted an automated alert known as a Best Practice Advisory (BPA) in the electronic health record, Epic, to notify oncology providers when a patient had a personal and/or family history that merited referral to cancer genetics. Epic could not gather the complex clinical data needed for the referral decision automatically, necessitating staff completion of a questionnaire. After educating providers, the BPA was implemented with resources to support its use. RESULTS: Initial interaction with the alert was high but rapidly dwindled, resulting in questionnaire completion in 7.2% of more than 32,000 encounters and 14.9% of patients over 9 months. However, cancer genetics referrals increased 95.9% during the pilot ( < .0001), with 18.5% placed through the BPA and the rest from a non-BPA mechanism. Semistructured interviews with key stakeholders revealed not only general acceptance of the BPA concept but also barriers to completion, such as pressure to room patients quickly in the face of competing BPAs and lack of buy-in from some providers. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that provider engagement and BPA fatigue are significant obstacles to acceptance of a new automated alert. Despite interest in a tool for cancer genetics, the demand on clinical time for this complex BPA was poorly tolerated.





Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.