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Patients from historically underserved groups, including patients of color and Hispanics, have less information about their family history of cancer than patients from other groups. In addition, according to a study published on October 4 in JAMA Open Network.

Researchers from the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah (U) and the Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health sifted through electronic health record information from two major health systems and divided them into subgroups: race, ethnicity, language preference, and gender. . The researchers found disproportions in the availability and completeness of information about family history of cancer for patients from different groups.

“Algorithms are being used by a growing number of health systems to identify patients for specialty care,” says Kim Kuffingst, MD, director of cancer communication research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute and a professor at the US Department of Communication. – However, systematic differences in the data of electronic medical records lead to disagreements in the identification of patients. cancer screening graphs based on their family history. Having less family history information in the record can have a trickle-down effect that negatively affects the care patients receive.”

Coppingst is one of the study’s principal investigators along with Mina Sigireddi, MD, of NYU Langone Health. Questions began to arise when Kofingst and her fellow researchers noticed that they were finding fewer Hispanic patients than expected.

“Based on what we found, we want to see how we can improve the collection of family history information, especially from Hispanic patients,” Coppingst says. “What’s the best way to ask questions about family cancer? Can we use an online tool on MyChart or have a patient navigator that collects appointments family history? We want to make sure all patients have access to the genetic cancer services they need.”

With misinformation more prevalent than ever, mistrust has become a critical factor in people’s reluctance to share their family medical history, Coppingst adds. But she and her colleagues are trying to find answers to their questions.

Know your hereditary cancer risk

Additional information:
Daniel Chavez-Enter et al. Association of differences in family history and family history of cancer in electronic health records by sex, race, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, and language preference in 2 large US health systems. JAMA Open Network (2022). DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.34574

Courtesy of Huntsman Cancer Institute

Citation: New study reveals algorithm-driven disparities in health systems (October 6, 2022) Retrieved October 6, 2022 from

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