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NorthShore Launches Complimentary Whole Genome Sequencing for 10,000 Patients

NorthShore Launches Complimentary Whole Genome Sequencing for 10,000 Patients

6/4/2019 - NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) has initiated “DNA10K,” a complimentary whole genome sequencing pilot program available to 10,000 eligible patients when they visit a participating NorthShore physician. The program, developed in partnership between NorthShore and ColorTM, is the largest known U.S.-based genomics effort grounded in primary care. First announced at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in January 2019, new and existing NorthShore patients can opt into the program via primary care visits conducted at 11 NorthShore care sites in the Chicago area.

This innovative approach is built on years of experience from NorthShore’s Mark R. Neaman Center for Personalized Medicine. Working with NorthShore primary care physicians, patients can access Color’s clinical-grade genetic testing and whole genome sequencing. Actionable genomic information is made available for review with the NorthShore physician and integrated into the electronic medical record to provide detail on genetic makeup and risk factors for hereditary cancers and heart disease, as well as pharmacogenomics. This insight is designed to help NorthShore physicians personalize care for each patient to support improved outcomes, prevention and overall health.

“We are proud to bring a new dimension to the connection and collaboration between NorthShore physicians and the patients and families they serve,” said J.P. Gallagher, President and Chief Executive Officer of NorthShore. “DNA10K builds on our experience and expertise in genomic medicine and brings a new level of understanding and insight to inform patient care and shape positive outcomes today and for the future.”

Eligible patients who take advantage of DNA10K will provide a blood sample, which is analyzed with results returning to the NorthShore physician within 4 weeks. In addition to consultation with their NorthShore primary care provider, patients will also have access to board-certified genetic counselors and clinical pharmacists from Color and NorthShore. This collaborative group helps interpret test results and develop personalized risk and screening plans to better inform care throughout a patient’s life. The complimentary DNA10K pilot program is a limited time offer for eligible patients, consent is required, fees may apply to other services received and additional terms may apply. Purchases made directly through Color’s website are currently $249.

“Our physicians and their patients are already experiencing value from this initiative and we are seeing firsthand how this program touches patients’ lives,” said Dr. Peter Hulick, medical director of NorthShore's Center for Personalized Medicine.

Since the program has launched, adoption rates are high, with more than 1,000 patients opting into the program within the first month. Patients enrolling in DNA10K are already experiencing added value in the relationship with their care provider, with several patients receiving information that is guiding their screening and treatment plans moving forward.

Like all genomic offerings at NorthShore, information is integrated into a patient’s electronic health record. Patients are highly interested in this information, with more than 90% of participants to date learning of the opportunity via NorthShoreConnect, NorthShore’s patient portal.

Additional Specific Information:

  • How patients heard about the test:
    • 93% of patients heard about the test from their physician or NorthShoreConnect message ahead of time
    • 25% of patients chose to participate
  • Physician engagement:
    • To date, 90% of participating providers have placed orders, indicating high interest. 
  • Reason for getting the test:
    • 19% family history
    • 18% doctor recommendation
    • 14% both family history + interest
  • Type of results:
    • Over 200 patients (and their providers) have received results, with 15% of patients testing positive for an oncologic or cardiac mutation.
    • More than 95% were found to have a variant related to how their body processes medications.
      • Patients are being scheduled for follow-up care with one of NorthShore’s personalized medicine consult clinics.
  • Family impact: Family members who are not an existing NorthShore patient (1st degree blood relatives) are eligible for testing at a cost of $50. Many patients are taking advantage of the pre-populated letter provided by the program to share their information with family members.
  • Research enrollment: 73% of patients who had the testing also expressed interest in participating in the Genomic Health Initiative (GHI).

DNA10K will support NorthShore’s efforts to improve patients’ health outcomes at a population level, with genomics as a foundation for informing individualized healthcare.

NorthShore patients can opt into the pilot program through a participating NorthShore physician. New patients and existing NorthShore patients whose primary care office is not listed as an eligible site can call 847.570.GENE (4363) for information on how they can participate in the program.