Genetic tests can now tell us whether we are at increased risk of various cancers, heart or kidney disease, asthma and a number of other conditions.
Other genetic tests can tell whether you will respond to certain medicines or be harmed by side effects linked to your genetic code. But harnessing that information to benefit individual patients and prevent illnesses in others will require that doctors have access to genomic information for each patient. As health records are converted to digital form, the most likely place to store and retrieve genomic information will be Electronic Health Records (EHR). But when and how that happens will depend on having good models to build upon.
Now, in the first collection of its kind, the October 2013 issue of Genetics in Medicine, the official peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, provides a series of research articles detailing challenges and solutions for integrating genomic data into EHR. The issue features the insights of research teams actively engaged in integrating genomic medicine into clinical care. Most of the contributions derive from the experiences of individual sites that comprise the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) Network, a national consortium funded by the National Institutes of Health, but additional perspective is provided by a commercial EHR vendor and by the Clinical Sequencing Exploratory Research (CSER) consortium, a cooperative group exploring applications of genomic sequencing.