Resource Details

A novel approach in pediatric telegenetic services: geneticist, pediatrician and genetic counselor team

08/04/2022 1:31pm
Heartland Regional Genetics Network (Heartland)

Our aim was to improve access to genetic services in an underserved region by developing a collaborative telegenetic service delivery model with a pediatrician, medical geneticist, and genetics counselor (GC).

Protocols for the evaluation of common genetic indications were developed. Patients referred with indications suggestive of a syndromic etiology were scheduled to see the geneticist directly via telegenetics. Other patients were scheduled to see the pediatrician and GC in person before follow-up with the geneticist if indicated. Patients seen by the geneticist and/or pediatrician/GC were enumerated and the next available appointment was tracked. Patient satisfaction surveys were conducted.

Of the 265 patients evaluated during the study period, 116 (44%) were evaluated by a pediatrician and GC in person first, after which 82 (71% of those evaluated) required further follow-up with the geneticist. The next available appointment with a pediatrician and GC never exceeded 6 weeks, while new appointments with a geneticist ranged from 3 to 9 months. All patients reported high satisfaction with this genetic service model.

The pediatrician/GC clinic provides a model of collaborative care that is a medical home neighbor and exemplifies the integration of genetics into primary care. The telegenetics clinic offers a viable solution to providing competent and convenient access to a geneticist for patients in chronically underserved regions.


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