Genetics in Medicine, by S. Kubendran et al
PurposeOur 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).MethodsProtocols 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.ResultsOf 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.ConclusionThe 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.GENETICS in MEDICINE advance online publication, 4 May 2017; doi:10.1038/gim.2017.45. Read more.