Genomic tests with DrFirst’s Rcopia e-prescribing tool to learn how patients’ genes will impact medication effectiveness for optimal treatment results
DrFirst, a nationally ranked provider of medication management and secure communications solutions, has added a new pharmacogenomics (PGx) capability within the workflow of its Rcopia electronic prescribing suite. The new PGx solution, developed in collaboration with Translational Software Inc. (TSI) and in conjunction with Exceltox and Alpha Genomix Laboratories, allows physicians to order genomic tests for patients to understand how patients will respond to current or planned medications.
DrFirst’s PGx functionality enables true precision medicine by allowing a physician to test how a patient’s genes will affect the efficacy of a drug. If a genomics test shows that a patient metabolizes a drug differently than expected or that the drug may pose a health risk to that person, the physician can make an informed decision as to which medication and/or dosage to prescribe for that patient.
“The results of the genomic tests available through DrFirst are very useful and offer additional information to help me prescribe the best medications to help my patients,” said Dr. Jess Calohan, DNP, PMHNP-BC, a Virginia-based behavioral health nurse practitioner and founder of ClinicWorksConsulting, LLC, which specializes in telehealth. “For instance, one of my patients had been on several different psychiatric drugs but was not seeing noticeable results. Some providers initially thought the patient was not adhering to the medications. But after I ordered the genomic test, the results showed this patient was a rapid metabolizer and couldn’t absorb the drugs previously prescribed appropriately. I prescribed a medication from a different class, and the patient’s symptoms improved dramatically.”
The PGx functionality is a feature of Rcopia’s Patient Advisor medication adherence module. If a patient consents to have a subset of their genes tested, the physician can order a genomics assay within the prescribing workflow. Orders are processed at either Exceltox or Alpha Genomix Laboratories. Currently, pharmacogenomics tests are targeted to behavioral health, cardiology and pain management.
The clinician can place the order for the test and either complete the test in the office or have a test kit mailed to the patient’s home. The test itself is a swab of the inside of the cheek which is sent to a lab for analysis. Results are returned to Rcopia, the electronic health record (EHR) and can also be mailed to the patient. These test results are relevant for the lifetime of the patient and can be forwarded to other providers.
“The integration of pharmacogenomics testing and related clinical decision support into our Rcopia product marks a big step forward for prescribers’ ability to match medications to the genetic makeup of their patients,” said G. Cameron Deemer, president of DrFirst. “For the first time, genomic testing related to a significant number of medications is available in the prescribing workflow. As physicians discover how this can increase the effectiveness of their prescriptions and the adherence of patients to their medications, we believe that the majority of Rcopia users will benefit from genomic information.”
TSI’s proprietary knowledge platform and application programming interface (API) provide genotyping prompts, genomic decision support and critical alerts about drug efficacy, toxicity, and known interactions within the Rcopia e-prescribing workflow. The PGx testing feature is already available in all EHRs that embed Rcopia for e-prescribing. It can be selectively enabled for a practice or even for individual physicians within that practice. There is no additional cost to the provider for using the PGx solution, however, the cost of the test to the patient is dependent upon specific health plan benefits. The genomic tests can be covered by Medicare, Medicaid and many commercial insurers.