Developing a genetic services assessment tool to inform quality improvement efforts in state genetic service delivery

Ann F. Chou, John Mulvihill, Celia Kaye, Sylvia Mann, Marc S. Williams, Lori Williamson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: The Institute of Medicine recommended the utilization of metrics to improve quality in health care, although they have rarely been used in genetics. This study developed and tested a set of metrics for a quality assessment tool for genetic services Methods: A systematic review of literature, guidelines, and consensus statements identified candidate measures for a possible assessment tool. An expert panel conducted a modified Delphi technique to rank the metrics. Ratings were computed to generate a score for each metric, creating a set of metrics for consensus discussions, pilot testing, and feasibility testing in eight Midwestern states. Results: The panel reduced 61 candidate metrics to 21 for pilot testing in two states, which further limited and refined the set to 16 metrics. These 16 were categorized into five domains: service capacity, access to care, data systems, performance reporting, and workforce. Further feasibility testing in one Regional Genetics Collaborative identified the tool’s usefulness and barriers to implementation. Conclusions: These quality metrics for both clinical and public health genetics across the lifespan may help medical professionals and policymakers evaluate quality and cost-effectiveness of genetic services on a statewide basis and stimulate outcome-oriented, health services research in medical genetics and genomics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)955-964
Number of pages10
JournalGenetics in Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • evaluation
  • genetics
  • public health
  • quality improvement
  • quality measurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)


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