Improving Utilization of the Family History in the Electronic Health Record.
PURPOSE:The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of Family History in the Electronic Health Record and to identify opportunities to advance the contributions of nurses in obtaining, updating and assessing family history in order to improve the health of all individuals and populations. ORGANIZING CONSTRUCT:The article presents an overview of the obstacles to charting Family History within the Electronic Health Record and recommendations for using specific Family History tools and core Family History data sets. METHODS:Opportunities to advance nursing contributions in obtaining, updating, and assessing family history in order to improve the health of all individuals were identified. These opportunities are focused within the area of promoting the importance of communication within families and between healthcare providers to obtain, document, and update family histories. FINDINGS:Nurses can increase awareness of existing resources that can guide collection of a comprehensive and accurate family history and facilitate family discussions. In this paper, opportunities to advance nursing contributions in obtaining, updating, and assessing family history in order to improve the health of all individuals were identified. CONCLUSIONS:Aligned with the clinical preparation of nurses, family health should be used routinely by nurses for risk assessment and to help inform patient and family members on screening, health promotion, and disease prevention. The quality of family health information is critical in order to leverage the use of genomic healthcare information and derive new knowledge about disease biology, treatment efficacy, and drug safety. These actionable steps need to be performed in the context of promoting evidence-based applications of family history that will be essential for implementing personalized genomic healthcare approaches and disease prevention efforts. CLINICAL RELEVANCE:Family health history is one of the most important tools for identifying the risk of developing rare and chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes, and represents an integration of disease risk from genetic, environmental, and behavioral/lifestyle factors. In fact, family history has long been recognized as a strong independent risk factor for disease and is the current best practice used in clinical practice to guide risk assessment.
Hickey, KT; Katapodi, MC; Coleman, B; Reuter-Rice, K; Starkweather, AR
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