This is a companion article to the feature, “Implementing a Pharmacogenomics Program.”
To inform clinical decisionmaking, clinicians need to assess the implications of complex genetic test results quickly, using an easily interpretable and actionable report. Reports should be succinct, and identify the information most critical to patient care.
Use of visual markers, including alerts, flags, and colored icons, can help clinicians quickly visualize and weigh important treatment tradeoffs. Such indicators can alert physicians about whether a normal response is expected to a given medication, whether to proceed with caution in prescribing a medication, or whether a medication needs to be immediately discontinued, substituted, or the dosage adjusted (see Figure 1). It is important that alerts focus on the consequences of prescribing a medication, and not the genetic result.
Reports should also be customized for the recipient based on clinical context and specific medical discipline. Reports should incorporate the latest findings from leading-edge researchers, knowledge from scientific groups such as CPIC and the Dutch Pharmacogenetics Working Group, government data from FDA and the European Medicines Agency, as well as information from other primary sources. As appropriate to the patient’s needs, it is valuable for genetic report results to provide links to the most recent drug labels, to the approval history of quality-assessed drugs, and to systematic reviews of drug safety and efficacy.