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Initiating an undiagnosed diseases program in the Western Australian public health system

Baynam, G., Broley, S., Bauskis, A., Pachter, N., McKenzie, F., Townshend, S., Slee, J., Kiraly-Borri, C., Vasudevan, A., Hawkins, A., Schofield, L., Helmholz, P., Palmer, R., Kung, S., Walker, C.E., Molster, C., Lewis, B., Mina, K., Beilby, J., Pathak, G., Poulton, C., Groza, T., Zankl, A., Roscioli, T., Dinger, M.E., Mattick, J.S., Gahl, W., Groft, S., Tifft, C., Taruscio, D., Lasko, P., Kosaki, K., Wilhelm, H., Melegh, B., Carapetis, J., Jana, S., Chaney, G., Johns, A., Owen, P.W., Daly, F., Weeramanthri, T., Dawkins, H. and Goldblatt, J. (2017) Initiating an undiagnosed diseases program in the Western Australian public health system. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, 12 (1).

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Background: New approaches are required to address the needs of complex undiagnosed diseases patients. These approaches include clinical genomic diagnostic pipelines, utilizing intra- and multi-disciplinary platforms, as well as specialty-specific genomic clinics. Both are advancing diagnostic rates. However, complementary cross-disciplinary approaches are also critical to address those patients with multisystem disorders who traverse the bounds of multiple specialties and remain undiagnosed despite existing intra-specialty and genomic-focused approaches. The diagnostic possibilities of undiagnosed diseases include genetic and non-genetic conditions. The focus on genetic diseases addresses some of these disorders, however a cross-disciplinary approach is needed that also simultaneously addresses other disorder types. Herein, we describe the initiation and summary outcomes of a public health system approach for complex undiagnosed patients- the Undiagnosed Diseases Program-Western Australia (UDP-WA). Results: Briefly the UDP-WA is: i) one of a complementary suite of approaches that is being delivered within health service, and with community engagement, to address the needs of those with severe undiagnosed diseases; ii) delivered within a public health system to support equitable access to health care, including for those from remote and regional areas; iii) providing diagnoses and improved patient care; iv) delivering a platform for in-service and real time genomic and phenomic education for clinicians that traverses a diverse range of specialties; v) retaining and recapturing clinical expertise; vi) supporting the education of junior and more senior medical staff; vii) designed to integrate with clinical translational research; and viii) is supporting greater connectedness for patients, families and medical staff. Conclusion: The UDP-WA has been initiated in the public health system to complement existing clinical genomic approaches; it has been targeted to those with a specific diagnostic need, and initiated by redirecting existing clinical and financial resources. The UDP-WA supports the provision of equitable and sustainable diagnostics and simultaneously supports capacity building in clinical care and translational research, for those with undiagnosed, typically rare, conditions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for Comparative Genomics
Institute for Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Publisher: BioMed Central
Copyright: © 2017 The Author(s)
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