Genetic data and electronic health records: A discussion of ethical, logistical and technological considerations

Kimberly Shoenbill, Norman Fost, Umberto Tachinardi, Eneida A. Mendonca

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective The completion of sequencing the human genome in 2003 has spurred the production and collection of genetic data at ever increasing rates. Genetic data obtained for clinical purposes, as is true for all results of clinical tests, are expected to be included in patients' medical records. With this explosion of information, questions of what, when, where and how to incorporate genetic data into electronic health records (EHRs) have reached a critical point. In order to answer these questions fully, this paper addresses the ethical, logistical and technological issues involved in incorporating these data into EHRs. Materials and methods This paper reviews journal articles, government documents and websites relevant to the ethics, genetics and informatics domains as they pertain to EHRs. Results and discussion The authors explore concerns and tasks facing health information technology (HIT) developers at the intersection of ethics, genetics, and technology as applied to EHR development. Conclusions By ensuring the efficient and effective incorporation of genetic data into EHRs, HIT developers will play a key role in facilitating the delivery of personalized medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-180
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics

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