Are you leveraging the power of genetic testing to help diagnose and treat your patients? If not, now is the time to start. In recent years, usage of genetics in healthcare — particularly in diagnosing and predicting disease — has exploded. Genome sequencing can help physicians identify a variety of hard-to-diagnose conditions, such as breast cancer and Huntington’s disease. But a practical application for genetic testing, is in the monitoring and management of pancreatitis. Here’s how genetic testing works, and why it’s a good idea to introduce it into your workflow: How Does Genetic Testing Work? Genetic testing uses DNA sequencing to identify genetic variants that place patients at an increased risk for certain conditions. The process generally consists of four steps:
- Assessment Patients share their symptoms and submit family health information, including which of their family members have been diagnosed with hereditary or genetic conditions and related symptoms.
- Consultation If a patient is exhibiting symptoms consistent with an inherited disease, or if one or more family members developed a genetic condition, a genetic test should be considered and discussed with the patient.
- Testing After appropriate pre-test counseling and consenting to the test, a patient can complete the test by submitting a DNA sample, typically a saliva swab.
- Post-Test Counseling After receiving the genetic test results, the physician and/or genetic counselor discuss the results and next steps with the patient. (If you don’t have a counselor on staff, contact the testing company you work with to identify third-party genetic counseling resources for you and your patient)