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Survey: Majority of Healthcare Organizations Unprepared for Precision Medicine

January 22, 2016
by Heather Landi
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While the White House announced last year a $215 million precision medicine initiative, the results of a recent survey found that few healthcare organizations are moving to adopt precision medicine.

According to a survey of hospital and health system CIOs, CMIOs and CMOs conducted by Health Catalyst, a data warehousing and analytics company, 59 percent of respondents said precision medicine will not play a significant role in their organizations in the next five years.  However, among respondents from academic medical centers, the perspective is very different, as 71 percent said it would play a significant role over the next five years. Academic hospitals and health systems have traditionally led the adoption of new technologies in healthcare.

Among respondents from non-academic hospitals and health systems, 68 percent said precision medicine will play an “average, small or non-existent role” in their organizations between now and 2020.

The online survey also revealed that few organizations are building genomics capabilities into their electronic health record (EHR) systems. Sixty-three percent of respondents overall said their organizations had no plans to integrate genomic data into their EHRs. However, among the respondents from academic healthcare organizations, the response was quite different as 64 percent said there are plans to integrate genomics into EHRs.

Conversely, 50 percent of overall respondents believe that DNA sequencing, the source of genomic data, could have a positive impact on their organizations’ patient treatment strategies.

"The disconnect between the recognition that genomics holds great promise and yet the lack of preparation for precision medicine may reflect the fact that technology adoption is often driven by research efforts at major academic medical centers, with others following in their footsteps," David Crockett, Ph.D., senior director of research and predictive analytics for Health Catalyst, said in a statement.

"This survey shows that leaders in academic medicine are already moving to adopt precision medicine but the rest of healthcare has a lot of catching up to do," Crockett said.

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