Clinical genomics in the world of the electronic health record.
The widespread adoption of electronic health records presents a number of benefits to the field of clinical genomics. They include the ability to return results to the practitioner, to use genetic findings in clinical decision support, and to have data collected in the electronic health record that serve as a source of phenotypic information for analysis purposes. Not all electronic health records are created equal, however. They differ in their features, capabilities, and ease of use. Therefore, to understand the potential of the electronic health record, it is first necessary to understand its capabilities and the impact that implementation strategy has on usability. Specifically, we focus on the following areas: (i) how the electronic health record is used to capture data in clinical practice settings; (ii) how the implementation and configuration of the electronic health record affect the quality and availability of data; (iii) the management of clinical genetic test results and the feasibility of electronic health record integration; and (iv) the challenges of implementing an electronic health record in a research-intensive environment. This is followed by a discussion of the minimum functional requirements that an electronic health record must meet to enable the satisfactory integration of genomic results as well as the open issues that remain.
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