As genetic testing and genomic data become more and more readily available, the need to educate the healthcare workforce, patients, their family members and the general public about genetics will continue to grow. There are currently significant challenges regarding access to clinical geneticists and genetic counselors because of the number of genetic providers and their location typically in academic health centers. Telemedicine and other digital solutions are tools which can help increase access to genetic expertise and services.
NYMAC Telegenetics Resouces:
NYMAC established the Telegenetics Community of Practice (TCOP) in 2016 as a way to support telegenetics in the region by providing a structure to bring together people interested in telegenetics to learn from each other. The TCOP is a group of over 100 providers who are practicing, have experience with, or are interested in telegenetics, who meet periodically via webinar and/or conference calls to discuss their experiences and strategies for successfully using telegenetics. The TCOP also has an interactive online community to share slides and webinar summaries, post resources for telegenetics, and have discussions with other TCOP members. Webinar topics have included care coordination, billing and reimbursement, conducting a needs assessment, and technology options, among others. Webinars, slides, and meeting notes are archived in TCOP’s online community. The TCOP aims to be a valuable resource to genetics providers in our region who are actively or interested in conducting telegenetics. If you are interested in learning more about the TCOP, feel free to contact Alissa Terry (email@example.com), or Beth Vogel (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Other Telehealth and Telegenetics Resources:
- Telemedicine manual for clinical genetic services (A ‘How To’ Guide for Starting a Telegenetics Clinic) from the Heartland Genetics and Newborn Screening Collaborative: Clinical Services Workgroup
- The National Coordinating Center (NCC) for the Regional Genetic Service Collaboratives coordinates all 7 regional genetics collaboratives in the country, including NYMAC. They have a telegenetics workgroup and other useful resources:
- The HRSA Office for the Advancement of Telehealth (OAT) promotes the use of telehealth technologies for health care delivery, education, and health information services.
- Telehealth Resource Centers (TRCs) have been established to provide assistance, education and information to organizations and individuals who are actively providing or interested in providing medical care at a distance. Their charter from the Office for Advancement of Telehealth is to assist in expanding the availability of health care to underserved populations.
- The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) is a non-profit association based in Washington DC with a membership network of more than 10,000 industry leaders and healthcare professionals. The ATA is a leading telehealth association helping to transform healthcare by improving the quality, equity and affordability of healthcare throughout the world.