By Reed Richardson

November 22, 2019

Providing high-value care is no longer merely a trend, but a necessity for health systems. An emerging way to lower overall cost of care while maintaining, and even increasing, quality of care and patient satisfaction is through precision prescribing. Taking into account a patient’s genetic makeup, lifestyle and overall treatment plan can help a prescriber pinpoint the most likely effective medication and dose rather than using trial and error methods that can lead to costly repeated treatments and a patient who continues to suffer through ineffective treatment. (For more information about Precision Prescribing, see our blog post on How Pharmacogenetics is Guiding the Future of Prescribing Medicine.)

Health systems beginning to implement precision prescribing initiatives should keep in mind these four strategies when designing an effective program.

Engagement by Leadership

Strong support from health system leadership is critical in any system-wide initiative. Important is not only approval for the program, but active involvement. Publish formal statements that a leadership committee, medical director or even the system president supports precision prescribing.

Educate Providers and Patients

Provide continuing education for healthcare providers on the latest pharmacogenetic testing and the medications susceptible to genetic factors and drug interactions. Help patients understand how genetics and lifestyle play a role in how medication is used by the body. Encourage them to be open and honest with healthcare providers about side effects and any deviation from their treatment plan. Deliver information in a variety of ways to suit varied learning styles and habits, such as posters, newsletters, presentations, and video.

Engage a Multidisciplinary Care Team

Pharmacists, healthcare providers, and the laboratory must work together as active participants in precision patient care. Open and accessible communication among all members of the care team must be maintained to ensure the patient’s entire treatment plan, lifestyle and genetic profile are taken into consideration when medication and dosing changes are considered.

Enable Data Sharing and Interoperability

Data sharing is critical to care team communication, identifying patients who could benefit from pharmacogenetic (PGx) testing and sharing key information for clinical decision making within the context of the patient’s overall profile. Historically, pharmacists, physicians, and laboratory data have been stored separately and sharing information between data systems has been cumbersome and time-consuming.

Enlisting the help of an experienced data partner can ensure the necessary resources are in place to maintain value in a precision prescribing program. hc1 PGx Advisor™ brings the laboratory, prescriber, and pharmacists into alignment and facilitates pharmacist and prescriber engagement in a comprehensive medication review. PGx Advisor produces a detailed Rx Scoring Report using a real-time database of drug interactions, FDA warnings and pharmacogenomic markers combined with prescription and medical claims, formulary and demographic data. Through this collaboration, the test results are interpreted by trained healthcare professionals in the context of a holistic view of the patient.

Visit hc1.com for more information about PGx Advisor and to request a demo.

References 

Diamond, J. (19 Oct 2019). 5 financial implications of precision medicine for physician practices. Medical Economics. https://www.medicaleconomics.com/news/5-financial-implications-precision-medicine-physician-practices 

Ginsburg, G. S., Phillips, K. A. (2018). Precision Medicine: From Science To Value. Health Affairs (Project Hope), 37(5), 694–701. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5989714/

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