Five-Minute Consult

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Jon Friedenberg
Vice president of El Camino Hospital and sponsor of the Genomic Medicine Institute
Mountain View, CA

El Camino Hospital is one of a very small number of hospitals that has embraced the potential of genomic testing to improve patient care.

Friedenberg: Others are focused primarily on research and developing the technology itself, but we're identifying technologies that are ready for prime time for clinicians and patients. About 2,000 genetic tests for disease or drug interactions are available—most are not appropriate for the community hospital, but some are. It typically takes 17 years for research to become standard of practice and we're helping to shorten that time.

We provide significant clinical support to help clinicians decide what to incorporate in their practice. We also provide pretest counseling for patients, and it's free, although they have to get the test done at an outside lab and that's not free.

Counseling helps determine whether the patient is a candidate for a test. There are tremendous implications that need to be reviewed confidentially with an expert before you decide.

We decided to start very small. There are 19 tests currently supported by the Institute. We'll add another 10 in September and another 10 in December.

Philip Betbeze

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