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University of Nebraska Medical Center Getting Genomic Sequencing Data Into EHR

April 25, 2018
by David Raths
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Genomic results reporting system in EHR to use the HL7 2.5 format

In 2015 the University of Nebraska Medical Center cancer center began streamlining its reporting workflow of next-generation sequencing (NGS) of genes to match patients to therapy and clinical trial recommendations. Two years later, UNMC cancer center determined that DNA sequence data, coupled with the pathologist’s interpretation, would significantly enhance cancer therapeutic decision-making if embedded in the EHR as discrete data rather than just a simple text report “trapped” in a PDF. 

Using GenomOncology’s Pathology Workbench solution, the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center/Nebraska Medicine has launched a discrete genomic results reporting system using the HL7 2.5 format. 

The system will feed several cancer center output sources with discrete genomic variant data points. The data will be fed directly to NGS panels, the cancer center’s research database (called Nebraska Cares), and eventually, into the EHR.     

“Clinicians need concise, relevant information returned quickly, so that they can treat their patients with the best options available,” said Scott Campbell, Ph.D., assistant professor and director of informatics for the Public Health Laboratory and the Pathology Laboratory at the Buffett Cancer Center, in a prepared statement. “By providing easy-to-interpret genomic results to clinicians as rapidly and accurately as possible, we strive to support the highest level of oncology patient care.” 

Dr. Campbell said the new system already has gone live in the Buffett Cancer Center’s research database and is being tuned to go live in its EHR system. Because of the common international technologies in the system, Campbell said it would be compatible with any health system in the country.  

To accelerate the new process, GenomOncology, working in collaboration with the Buffett Cancer Center, developed a proprietary software program called GO-Connect. The program converts complex genetic testing results into a format that is easily incorporated into EHR systems for ongoing patient care.   

GO-Connect can act as a “molecular hub,” receiving gene variant information from a variety of data sources and transmitting the data to both the EHR and other data repositories. The system is configurable to meet each client's specific requirements and provides rapid integration with any EHR using technologies currently available.   

“This solution addresses one of the most common challenges in healthcare today – streamlining patient information into a manageable, digestible format. Oncologists today often need to open several PDFs and go to multiple portals to obtain the information required to make a treatment decision or assess trial eligibility,” said Manuel J. Glynias, founder and CEO of GenomOncology, in a statement. “GO-Connect puts NGS data in the same part of the EHR as the serum chemistries or blood counts, which will make using this data significantly more convenient.”

Campbell said the technology is available free of charge for non-commercial use for those organizations that have a license with the National Library of Medicine.




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