Genomic technology is advancing rapidly. This, along with increasing clinical and personal use of genomic tests, adds a layer of complexity around what type of test patients and their families should have.
Clinical genomic tests in Australia are provided by accredited diagnostic laboratories. However, there is no national directory detailing the genomic tests offered by different laboratories. This results in a lack of clarity about when, how and where genomic tests can be ordered and which health professionals should order what test.
Australian Genomics is exploring the development of an Australian Genomic Test Directory. This would list the latest genomic tests available in Australia and the criteria for ordering these, including which test is most suitable, who orders it (clinical geneticist or other health professional), what data interpretation is needed and what type of genetic counselling is appropriate.
A directory like this would help improve the effectiveness, efficiency, cost-effectiveness and equitability of genomic testing, and ultimately deliver better outcomes for patients, their families, health systems and the broader community.
Dr Kristen Nowak
Department of Health WA