Genetic testing has become an important part of medical care. While genetic tests may hold the promise of improved care and treatment, there are also risks relating to accuracy, cost and usefulness. Many tests are already commercially available. Inappropriate use of tests has the potential to harm patients and can waste resources.
Evaluating Emerging Genetic Tests
These concerns have led to the formation of the Genetic Testing Practice Council (GTPC). A joint effort between the Clinical Genetics Institute, SelectHealth and the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Clinical Support Service, the GTPC is charged with evaluating emerging genetic tests. The evaluation will focus on the following criteria:
- Analytic accuracy of the test
- Effect of test results on care of patients
- Clinical situations in which test should be offered
- Testing done in-house or by outside referral laboratory
- Cost-effectiveness, cost-benefit of test
In addition, for tests that will be offered, the Council will develop appropriate decision support for clinicians who order the test, both to aid in appropriate ordering of the tests, but also to assist with interpretation of test results.