Genetic consultation embedded in a gynecologic oncology clinic improves compliance with guideline-based care.

Senter L, O'Malley DM, Backes FJ, Copeland LJ, Fowler JM, Salani R, Cohn DE
Gynecol Oncol 147 110-114 01/01/2017


OBJECTIVE: Analyze the impact of embedding genetic counseling services in gynecologic oncology on clinician referral and patient uptake of cancer genetics services.

METHODS: Data were reviewed for a total of 737 newly diagnosed epithelial ovarian cancer patients seen in gynecologic oncology at a large academic medical center including 401 from 11/2011-7/2014 (a time when cancer genetics services were provided as an off-site consultation). These data were compared to data from 8/2014-9/2016 (n=336), when the model changed to the genetics embedded model (GEM), incorporating a cancer genetic counselor on-site in the gynecologic oncology clinic.

RESULTS: A statistically significant difference in proportion of patients referred pre- and post-GEM was observed (21% vs. 44%, p<0.0001). Pre-GEM, only 38% of referred patients were actually scheduled for genetics consultation and post-GEM 82% were scheduled (p<0.00001). The difference in the time from referral to scheduling in genetics was also statistically significant (3.92months pre-GEM vs. 0.79months post-GEM, p<0.00001) as was the time from referral to completion of genetics consultation (2.52months pre-GEM vs. 1.67months post-GEM, p<0.01). Twenty-five percent of patients referred post GEM were seen by the genetic counselor on the same day as the referral.

CONCLUSIONS: Providing cancer genetics services on-site in gynecologic oncology and modifying the process by which patients are referred and scheduled significantly increases referral to cancer genetics and timely completion of genetics consultation, improving compliance with guideline-based care. Practice changes are critical given the impact of genetic test results on treatment and familial cancer risks.

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