Jessica Feldman, Chinmayee Bhimarao Nagaraj, Kathleen Collins, Emily Wakefield, Hua He, Melanie Myers, Katie Wusik
Implementation of genetic testing in healthcare increases, but access to, and number of, genetics providers remain scarce. This study analyzed the impact of genetic counselor (GC) involvement on frequency of documentation of pre- and post-test counseling of genetic testing between GCs and genetics providers (GPs), and GCs and non-genetics providers (NGPs). A retrospective chart review of 467 charts from patients who had genetic testing ordered between July 2016 and June 2018 at a primarily pediatric institution was conducted. GCs were involved for 223 charts (GC group), and not involved for 244 (non-GC group). The non-GC group was further stratified into patient charts with Genetics Providers (GP group) (n = 100) involved and those with Non-Genetics Providers (NGP group) (n = 144) involved. Categorical, binomial, pre-test variables (counseling, test description, results possibilities, insurance coverage, and cost) and categorical, binomial, post-test variables (results disclosure, family testing recommendations, recurrence risk, and provided resources) were collected and compared using Fisher's exact test (p < 0.005). With the exception of test description, documentation for all variables occurred more frequently in the GC group compared to the NGP group (all p < 0.001). Documentation for the majority of variables also occurred more frequently in the GC group compared to the GP group (p < 0.005), with the exceptions of overall pre-test counseling and family testing recommendations. GC involvement was associated with increased documentation of most pre- and post-test genetic counseling variables. With increased emphasis placed on transparency, accurateness, and access for patients of the EMR, in part due to the passage of the CARES Act, documentation should reflect the content of counseling provided. The cause of the documentation discrepancy identified may have differing effects on patient care and provider education.
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