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Survey: Precision Medicine Program a "High Priority" in Oncology Health Care Systems

October 12, 2017

A recent survey has revealed that precision medicine programs are gaining ground as a critical investment within oncology health care systems.

The survey, conducted by The Health Management Academy (Alexandria, VA), asked oncology management professionals to share their awareness, integration, and operationalization of a precision medicine program at their respective institutions. A total of 21 chief medical officers and oncology leaders from 296 hospitals (averaging 2.9 million annual admissions) responded to the survey.

Highlights from the survey results include:

  •        The majority (60%) of health systems indicated that developing a precision medicine program was a high (25%) or essential (35%) priority for their organizations’ aims. Five percent responded that it was a low priority, with 5% also responding that it was not needed.
  •        While 43% of respondents reported that they are currently implementing a precision medicine program, 19% said that such a program had been implemented in their health system in the last 12 months. A precision medicine program was at least 12 months old in 10% of responding health systems. Only 9% said they are not considering a precision medicine program.
  •        The leaders expect real-world outcomes data to have a significant bearing on physician decisions for the most complex oncology cases. Along those lines, 60% of respondents indicated that their health system is involved in a cancer data-sharing collaboration.
  •       Eighty-three percent of respondents indicated that their health system has developed or expects to develop a precision medicine in oncology. Among other areas for potential precision medicine programs included cardiology (33%), neurology (33%), epidemiology (33%) and prenatal (33%).
  •        Sixty-nine percent of respondents reported that they are very or somewhat prepared to build a precision oncology program. Additionally, 89% expect precision oncology to improve patient outcomes, encourage enrollment of patients in their program, and assist clinical trial accrual.


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Respondents expressed concern that their oncologists may lack the ability to accurately interpret molecular information from diagnostic tests, which could heavily impact their targeted treatment suggestion for the patient. This finding highlights an educational need among oncologists ordering and interpreting molecular diagnostic tests.—Zachary Bessette

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