Increasing Patient Care Documentation Efficiency for Genetic Counselors

Patient Care DocumentationAs the healthcare industry continues to push towards value-based care models, many organizations are seeking ways to achieve greater operational efficiencies in effort to achieve the “Triple Aim: improve patient experience and outcomes, while at the same time, reduce the cost of care.” One way to support these goals is with thorough patient care documentation. Improved documentation not only equips care teams, such as nurse navigators and genetic counselors, with the insight they need to promote interventions and communicate clearly with patients but also promotes collaboration among other care team members.

Genetic Counselors and Their Role in Cancer Patient Care

Genetic counselors (GCs) offer individualized guidance to patients who are seeking to understand hereditary contributions to cancer for themselves or a loved one. Key responsibilities commonly include: patient care documentation, risk assessment, genetic test interpretation, as well as education, guidance, and support for patients and their families. The GC not only guides the patient through their complex test decision, but also evaluates the quality of the laboratory and reviews the cost for the test (for both the patient and insurance company). But the role of cancer genetic counselors is rapidly evolving and the field of genetics is changing.

As cancer genetics research continues to evolve and become increasingly complex, GCs are able to reach more patients, but concurrently, patients are becoming more involved in treatment decisions. Because of this, access to experts, such as GCs, has become more important than ever. Like a nurse navigator, genetic counselors are consistently challenged to keep up with patient care demands. To achieve high-quality clinical care while maximizing efficiency, GCs must learn to adapt to the changes quickly and find efficiencies wherever possible.

Color Genomics Study: Software Solutions Increase Efficiency of Genetic Counseling for Hereditary Cancer

A recent study conducted by Color Genomics, a genetic testing company in Burlingame, CA, demonstrated the impact of organizations who embrace a broader implementation of more cutting-edge software tools, such as OncoNav. The study showed that increased access to software solutions improved efficiency for day-to-day GC tasks, like patient scheduling, collecting health history, analyzing data and documenting genetic counseling sessions. Through integration of software applications, they even saw an improvement in patient care outcomes and a decrease in failed appointment rates.

Similar to nurse navigators, genetic counselors are an essential piece of the healthcare puzzle, but as the uptake of services increase, efficiencies must also improve. At the conclusion of the above study by Color Genomics, they found that software solutions allowed for genetic counselors to decrease their overall time spent per case (by an average of 40 minutes), which allows for one counselor to see more patients per day or devote time to other activities. At the same time, GCs were able to increase the overall percentage of the time spent on direct patient interaction (by an average of 50%).

Decreasing Time Spent on Patient Care Documentation

By integrating technology applications, such as OncoNav’s customized oncology software, GCs can dramatically decrease the amount of time spent on non-direct patient care activities, such as patient care documentation. This not only increases the amount of time spent directly with patients, but can also increase satisfaction and comprehension.

Saving time and reducing much of the administrative workload placed on GCs and nurse navigators, also improves efficiency and reduces burnout.

Your Patients Rely On You. You Can Rely On Us.

At OncoNav, our support team is comprised of oncology professionals and nurse navigators with decades of experience in the industry and who are aware of and familiar with the latest oncology research.

Find out how OncoNav can be a beneficial and valuable resource for your facility today schedule your free demonstration today. We offer on-call customer support service Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET at (888) 369-1791 or by email at