Background: Individuals at increased risk for cancer are ascertained at low rates of 1% to 12% in primary care (PC). Underserved populations experience disparities of ascertainment, but data are lacking. INHERET is an online personal and family history tool to facilitate the identification of individuals who are eligible, according to guidelines, to be counseled on germline genetic testing and risk management.
Patients and methods: INHERET data entry uses cancer genetics clinic questionnaires and algorithms that process patient data through NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology and best practice guidelines. The tool was tested in silico on simulated and retrospective patients and prospectively in a pilot implementation trial. Patients in cancer genetics and in PC clinics were invited to participate via email or a card. Informed consent was completed online.
Results: INHERET aimed to integrate patient data by algorithms based on professional and best practice guidelines to elicit succinct, actionable recommendations that providers can use without affecting clinic workflow or encounter length. INHERET requires a 4th-grade reading level, has simple navigation, and produces data lists and pedigree graphs. Prospective implementation testing revealed understandability of 90% to 100%, ease of use of 85%, and completion rates of 85% to 100%. Physicians using INHERET reported no added time to their encounters when patients were identified for counseling. In a specialty genetics clinic, INHERET's data were input, on average, within 72 hours compared with 4 to 6 weeks through standard care, and the queue for scheduling patients decreased from 400 to fewer than 15 in <6 months.
Conclusions: INHERET was found to be accessible for all education and age levels, except patients aged >70 years, who encountered more technical difficulties. INHERET aided providers in conveying high-risk status to patients and eliciting appropriate referrals, and, in a specialty clinic, it produced improved workflows and shortened queues.