Ochsner Health System, Color team on population health pilot program

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Ochsner Health System and genetic testing vendor Color are collaborating on what they contend is a “first of its kind, fully digital” population health pilot integrating clinical genomics into standard care.

“The partnership leverages Color’s unique combination of medical grade genetics, clinical services and patient engagement with Louisiana-based Ochsner’s approach to making individualized patient-level insights actionable and integrating them into routine patient care at scale,” according to the announcement. “The enrollment process is completely digital and works seamlessly between Ochsner and Color, with emphasis on education and support for patients and Ochsner providers.”

The pilot program, developed by Ochsner’s innovation lab, screens for genetic mutations associated with three medical conditions:

· Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome because of mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

· Lynch Syndrome, which increases the risk of colorectal, endometrial, ovarian and other cancers.

· Familial hypercholesterolemia, which increases the risk for heart disease or stroke.

Patients receive a home-based test kit and provide a DNA sample, which is analyzed using Color’s clinical-grade genetic testing technology. Color will only share identifiable genetic information if patients consent to it.

Genetic testing results are stored in the Epic electronic health records system for better healthcare collaboration and treatment plans. Color provides support to patients and providers with genetic counseling services.

“Most consumers have access to home genetic screening tests, but may not have the tools, resources and collaboration needed to take action should they receive questionable results,” says Richard Milani, MD, Ochsner’s chief clinical transformation officer. “We know there are many factors that influence health, and genetic insights provide an additional data point to allow us to develop and deliver a more personalized approach in partnership with our patients.

“Integrating this information into the patient’s electronic health record so your doctor can review the results and discuss proactive treatment recommendations is yet another example of how we are re-engineering care, informing smarter decisions by healthcare providers and empowering patients to become more involved in their health,” adds Milani.

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