Dr. Candace Westgate*, an OB/GYN physician in California, explains her recent experience incorporating genetic testing through virtual visits into her practice.
Dr. Westgate shares, “the notion of taking healthcare to our patients, instead of expecting our patients to come to us to get their healthcare, is something that is in the forefront of medicine.” Many of her patients come from a rural setting and drive up to two hours to reach her clinic. Recently, with the COVID-19 outbreak, the need for delivering healthcare to patients in remote ways has been accelerated. Virtual visits are now allowing her to reduce travel for her patients and maintain staffing while in-person volumes are lower than usual.
Dr. Westgate is thinking outside of the box about how genetic insights are utilized in her practice. Historically, patients were screened for hereditary cancer testing with a digital tool while in the waiting room. Her practice now emails the screening tool to patients and they complete it from the safety of their own home. Patients who are at high risk are then scheduled for a follow up visit to discuss hereditary cancer testing. Dr. Westgate utilized Myriad’s Virtual Ordering Process for appropriate patients who decide to continue with myRisk testing.
“Myriad Genetics is now mailing the test kits directly to the patient’s house, so this again takes away the step of the patient needing to come into your office”, she explains. Once results are available, she discloses them to the patient during a virtual follow-up visit and discusses a care plan based on the report.
As the utilization of telehealth grows, other practices in California are learning from Dr. Westgate and implementing genetic testing in virtual visits. By adopting virtual workflows, they aim to provide quality care and identify appropriate patients in their practice who have yet to undergo a cancer risk assessment.
Myriad provides a proprietary suite of virtual screening and testing solutions, each designed to seamlessly integrate into clinic workflows and patients’ lives. We support patients and healthcare providers throughout the genetic screening process, with pre-test education, cost estimates and billing support, clear results reporting, and on-demand post-test consults.
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*Dr. Candace Westgate is a consultant for Myriad and member of Myriad’s speaker bureau. Other healthcare providers referenced in the Human Understanding podcast series are consultants for Myriad and members of Myriad’s speaker bureau.