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Ochsner integrates precision medicine capabilities within Epic EHR

Ochsner Health this week announced a fresh integration which will ensure it is easier because of its physicians to provide precision medicine of their existing clinical workflows.


THE BRAND NEW Orleans-based health system says it is the first in the country to include Epic’s Orders and Results Anywhere integration using its genomics module a move that may reduce the period of time clinicians spend ordering genomic tests and reviewing results.

Through Epic’s partnership with Tempus, which develops precision oncology technology, Ochsner physicians is now able to order tests and access discrete biomarkers within the patient’s electronic health record, helping them offer more personalized cancer treatment plans.

Physicians at Ochsner’s 47 hospitals and a huge selection of clinics can order genomic tests with a click to recognize actionable genomic variants and therapeutic options, including matched clinical trials. The info flows straight into Epic supplying a unified view of the patient’s genomic and clinical information.

“Labs have traditionally sent genetic testing leads to providers in PDFs that look nice but don’t power precision medicine at the idea of care,” said Alan Hutchison, vice president at Epic, in a statement. “The discrete genomic results that Tempus sends back again to Ochsner flow right to patients’ charts where they’re actionable, not trapped in a PDF report.”

“Using discrete actionable data to generate patient insights is among Ochsner Information Services’ guiding principles which technology allows us to create leads to our providers within an actionable format to quickly make a direct effect on patient care. That is another exemplory case of how exactly we prioritize ‘patients first’ initiatives,” added Amy Trainor, Ochsner’s VP of clinical systems.


Limitations around EHRs and their capability to support volumes of discrete genomic data have already been a large challenge recently, and also have arguably held back wider adoption of precision medicine treatment strategies.

A good decade ago, experts were warning that “EHRs aren’t made to store large blocks of data that not require rapid access; nor are they currently with the capacity of integrating genomics clinical decision support.”

As Dr. John Halamka said in 2017: “Our EHRs aren’t exactly friendly for clinicians plus they haven’t done an excellent job of taking things such as biomarkers, genomic interpretations and decision support and turning them into action.”

But with precision medicine finally reaching a crucial mass, increasingly built-into just how physicians deliver care, a lot more health systems want to retool IT infrastructure and clinical workflows to support these personalized treatment plans.


“We’ve discovered that these EHR integrations significantly decrease the period of time physicians spend ordering and reviewing our scientific tests and reports, and for that reason save money time making use of their patients, built with the data had a need to make informed treatment decisions,” said Dr. James L. Chen, senior VP of cancer informatics at Tempus.

“This integration greatly enriches the precision care we offer to patients with cancer,” added Dr. Marc Matrana, medical director of precision medicine at Ochsner Health. “Through efficient, streamlined usage of discrete genomics data, we are able to determine a patient’s unique cancer and tailor treatment to find the best possible outcome.”


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