Pharmacogenomics

Providers at the Precision Medicine Summit

Everyone in healthcare is talking about precision medicine, but this week, stakeholders will talk about it like never before. NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) is thrilled to partner with KLAS in hosting an inaugural event about building precision medicine.

buildpm19 includes attendees from vendors, payers, government groups, investing firms, and, of course, 50+ provider organizations. These stakeholders will work to define pragmatic solutions and services strategies, implementation best practices, and potential potholes for building and scaling an applied genomics program.

At NorthShore, I have responsibilities for our Research Institute, Mark R. Neaman Center for Personalized Medicine, Business Strategy Development, and Center for Simulation and Innovation, so you can understand why I’m excited to talk up this summit. I’d also like to outline NorthShore’s relationship with precision medicine and the value I hope attendees can glean from buildpm19.

Our Precision Medicine History

NorthShore’s passion for precision medicine spans decades. One visionary who deserves a lot of credit is Dr. Janu Khandekar, our former chairman of medicine. He had the goal to bring genomics and the idea of molecular diagnostics to NorthShore in the ‘80s. He helped develop a lot of the core functions that became the foundation of what we are doing today.

Our molecular diagnostics team started looking at the science of genomics back in the early ‘90s. From there, we started doing some in-house testing which led to some work in medical genetics. Our program was sponsored and guided by Henry Lynch, whose research in cancer genetics led to Lynch syndrome being named after him. He helped initiate NorthShore’s strong connection to medical genetics.

Fast forward to 2003, when NorthShore was the first sites in the country to go live on Epic’s platform. Since then, we have been working with Epic on how to think differently about delivering genomics to a larger population. While our medical genetics clinic is great, it doesn’t have the bandwidth to comprehensively manage genomics across our 750,000 patients. We want to deploy our medical genetics workflows in our clinical practice through our EMR.

We also work with several other companies that help us deliver genetic insights. A couple example are Ambry Genetics and Invitae. In addition, we recently announced our partnership with Color . We will be the first healthcare organization to offer Color’s full genomic health tests to 10,000 of our primary care patients at no charge. Our partnerships with vendors like these have been absolutely critical, and we’re always looking for new chances to collaborate.

Our Hopes for the Summit

I’m grateful for this opportunity to meet with other stakeholders to share ideas and identify the pressure points in precision medicine. We have a great lineup. Doug Silverstein, president of NorthShore Evanston Hospital, will be doing some introductions, and Dr. Peter Hulick  and one of his patients will speak. There will also be breakout sessions on several topics under the precision medicine umbrella.

I have several specific goals for buildpm19. First, I want to hear what other people are doing. NorthShore has tried a few things, and it will be fascinating to hear how other people are approaching precision medicine. Discussing their successes and pain points should help everyone in their efforts.

It will also be helpful to learn how people are seeing the idea of precision medicine as a value proposition. How are organizations creating business cases for personalized medicine?

Lastly, I think it will be important for us to understand the vendor landscape in the precision medicine space. I anticipate hearing about some interesting products that may help providers address some of the needs out there.

The Spirit of Sharing

I’m looking forward to the opportunities to collaborate at this week’s summit, and I’m also excited for what will follow.

For one thing, KLAS will publish the Implementer’s Guide soon after the buildpm19 event. This guide will be based on insights from summit attendees. Its goal? To support healthcare provider organizations in the development of precision medicine programs.

To kick off this topic, I’d also like to share more about NorthShore University HealthSystem’s precision medicine journey and some lessons we’ve learned. You’ll be able to find this discussion in a blog post to be published next week.

Stay tuned for updates from buildpm19, learnings from the summit, and the innovation those insights will spark! I eagerly await the advances in precision medicine that are waiting around the corner.