Integration of genomics into clinical care for SCD

Project: SFRN


  • Laura Rasmussen Torvik (PI)


Sudden cardiac death (SCD) affects approximately 350,000 Americans each year. Genetic risk stratification is well-positioned to inform SCD risk, but many providers lack contemporary knowledge about genetics and the adequate preparation to obtain and interpret genetic information to guide management of their patients. Educating providers about genetic assessment will improve patient screening, diagnosis, and clinical care for SCD with the aim of reducing morbidity and mortality from this condition and improving device utilization. The objective of our application is to develop and implement an ongoing educational program that provides basic genetic knowledge coupled with practical information on the genetics of sudden cardiac death. We will achieve our stated objective through the pursuit of three specific aims; 1) assess current cardiology and electrophysiology practitioner genetics knowledge, practice patterns, and overall readiness related to genetic assessment for SCD risk as well as preferences for educational modalities, 2) develop, pilot and refine an educational program about guideline-driven recommendations, as well as emerging genetic tools, which impact clinical practice and risk management of sudden cardiac death, using a backward design model, and 3) implement and assess the educational program across the AHA SFRN network. Pre-education assessment will be accomplished through provider interviews and then surveys at Northwestern Medicine, Sanford Health, and across cardiology professional networks. Educational program development will be accomplished by the application of established best-practices (including backwards design) by genetics and distance-learning experts at Northwestern and Augustana University, and refinement of the program will be accomplished through focus groups with early participants. Assessment of the program after implementation across the SFRN will be accomplished through pre and post survey measures of electrophysiology and cardiology practitioner competence in genetics knowledge and skills relating to their medical practice. Successful completion of the aims will result in an educational program that can be used across the SFRN and beyond to promote the integration of genetic information about SCD into clinical care. Additionally, an engaged medical community will be assembled to share best practices, discuss difficult/complex cases and further refine genetically-tailored care around SCD.
Award amount$880,000.00
Award date07/01/2019
Program typeStrategically Focused Research Network
Award ID19SFRN34850101
Effective start/end date07/01/201906/30/2023