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A Practical First Step Using Needs Assessment and a Survey Approach to Implementing a Clinical Pharmacogenomics Consult Service.

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Genetic-guided selection of non-oncologic medications is not commonly practiced in general, and at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Health, specifically. Understanding the unique position of clinicians with respect to clinical pharmacogenetics (PG) at a specific institution or practice is fundamental for implementing a successful PG consult service.


To assess clinicians' current practices, needs, and interests with respect to clinical PG at UCSF Health, a large tertiary academic medical center.


A list of 42 target medications with clinical PG recommendations was complied. Clinical specialties that routinely used the target medications were identified. A 12-question survey focused on practice of PG for target medications was developed. Pharmacists and physicians were surveyed anonymously in several clinical specialties. Survey results were analyzed using descriptive statistics.


Of the 396 clinicians surveyed, 76 physicians and 59 pharmacists participated, resulting in 27% and 50% average response rates, respectively. The current use of PG in clinical practice for physicians and pharmacists was 29% and 32%, respectively, however this number varied across clinical specialties from 0% to 80%. Of clinicians whom reported they do not currently apply PG, 63% of physicians and 54% of pharmacists expressed interest in integrating PG. However, the level of interest varied from 20% to 100% across specialties. Of the respondents, 64% of physicians and 56% of pharmacists elected to provide contact information to investigators to further discuss their interest related to clinical PG.


While PG is not uniformly practiced at UCSF Health, there is considerable interest in utilizing PG by the respondents. Our approach was successful at identifying clinicians and services interested in PG for specific drug-gene pairs. This work has set a foundation for next steps to advance PG integration at UCSF Health. Clinicians can adopt our approach as preliminary work to build a clinical PG program at their institutions.

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