Clear Lab Reports are Crucial

Lab test reporting standards must evolve, too. Clear language in test results reports is crucially important, emphasize Drs. Robson and Harry Ostrer, MD, of the Albert Einstein School of Medicine at Yeshiva University in Bronx, NY.

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 “There’s a lot of information for patients to absorb; we’re really trying to get people from zero to 60 quite quickly,” he said. “Developing a canonical approach is a very reasonable way to go. Many patients who are receiving testing are not seeing genetic counselors, so it would be important for non-genetic counselor practitioners to have a set of guidelines they can use.”

With President Obama’s genomic medicine initiative, the federal government is promoting personalized genomic medicine and physicians will increasingly face questions about these tests and their interpretation, Dr. Ostrer says.

“There aren’t enough genetic counselors to go around, so physicians are going to have to learn how to work with testing laboratories, many of which do a great job of helping physicians get up to speed with understanding and communicating that information.”

“We’re trying to figure out the best way to do this,” Dr. Robson concluded. “Going backwards isn’t an option, but we do need to figure out how to go forward responsibly and effectively.”


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