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Integrating Genetic Testing into a Telehealth Program

Introducing Human Understanding a new podcast series from Myriad Women’s Health. Each episode highlights real stories of providers in our communities who are managing through the current pandemic and revolutionizing patient care. They will be sharing actionable tips that may help in your own practice.

Flynn Millard O’Neill* is an NP in Washington, D.C. who has been in clinical practice for 12 years in both women’s health and OBGYN. She has been utilizing telemedicine since April of 2018. Throughout the podcast, Flynn explains how she has restructured her days to fit the needs of her patients through virtual visits. Many of her patients come from surrounding states. For her, telemedicine supports efforts to improve the quality of healthcare by emphasizing accessibility and efficiency.

COVID-19 has increased the demand of telemedicine in Flynn’s practice from 16% of the time to nearly 100%, aside from essential visits. Not only are her patients reducing the need to travel by her adoption of telemedicine practices, but they are also overcoming other inconveniences such as work barriers, geographical barriers, and childcare. Telemedicine has become a revolutionary form of healthcare. According to Flynn, virtual visits “make it easier for the provider to deliver the care. It increases the access for our patients which is something that we are all in agreement with and is just great harmony. It makes both sides of the party happy.”

 When a patient can see their provider as often as needed, without additional challenges, patients are equipped to better manage their health. Flynn elucidates this by sharing the story of a new patient, who was interested in having a child. Her patient’s family history and personal risk factors strongly suggested she receive a carrier screening and a hereditary cancer test. Flynn turned to Myriad’s myRisk Hereditary Cancer Test and Foresight Carrier Screening. Through a virtual results disclosure consultation, they discussed her test results which revealed that her patient was positive for both Thalassemia and a BRCA2 mutation. Since then her patient has been given the highest level of care and medical management options that can reduce her risk of cancer almost solely through telemedicine.

Flynn also addresses the concerns surrounding quality of care where she states that “Quality of care is equal or better on telemedicine”. She has used virtual visits as a means to improve access and ease for patients, medical assistants, and providers, without compromising any care. Flynn also utilizes Myriad’s Virtual Ordering Process. She said “the ability to ship a kit to a patient’s house, have the patient complete the test in the comfort of their own home, and return that test via mail ” is exceptionally unique. 

As the utilization of telehealth grows, other providers are learning from Flynn 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 may be candidates for a cancer and/or carrier risk assessment.

Fill out a quick form if you are interested in having a Myriad representative help you integrate genetic testing and screening into your telehealth workflow.

*Flynn Mallard O’Neill 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.

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