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Spotlight on Genetic Testing at Versiti

by Kiran Ganda | Oct 1, 2019 | Blog, Molecular News, What’s New

A technology-driven approach to managing NGS diagnostics

Versiti (formerly Blood Center of Wisconsin) specializes in a wide range of diagnostic services, including esoteric testing, such as immunology, hematology, oncology, and serology. Central to these tests is the execution of next-generation sequencing (NGS), a complex workflow that produces a vast amount of data to be managed and assessed. At one time, Versiti was using paper- and Microsoft® Excel-based methods to handle these data, a method that many labs tend to use without a better alternative. In 2017, as patient and test volume continued to grow, Versiti decided it was time to bring in technology to support genetic analysis. We caught up with Valerie Trapp-Stamborksi, PhD, Associate Laboratory Director at Versiti, to learn more about this transformation and how Sunquest Mitogen™ Genetics is helping them meet their goals.

Sunquest: Great to connect with you, Valerie, and hear more about genetic testing at Versiti. To start, could you give us an overview of your organization, and more specifically, the diagnostic testing lab? What types of testing do you do?

Valerie: Thanks, Kiran, great to be talking with you. Versiti Diagnostic Labs have physical locations in four states in the upper Midwest United States, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana. We provide specialized testing support to hospitals and providers across the country for a variety of conditions in transfusion medicine, hematology, transplantation and oncology. We utilize a variety of methods, including functional and genomic analyses, to provide actionable diagnostic and prognostic information to health care providers. Annually, we perform testing for over 90,000 patients.

Sunquest: When did you start working with Sunquest and why? What were your goals or needs?

About the author
Kiran Ganda Director of Product Marketing
Kiran Ganda
Director of Product Marketing, Precision Medicine

Having worked exclusively in health technology organizations for more than fifteen years, Kiran is passionate about innovations in patient care.

Valerie: We started using Sunquest about two years ago when we launched a series of NGS panels in the hematology space. Previously, we had performed Sanger sequencing on a limited number of genes. We were using Microsoft® Excel spreadsheets to track our variants, and it took quite a bit of searching to find variant interpretations. The Sunquest product [Sunquest Mitogen Genetics] allowed us to easily track variants that we had seen before, and the interpretations we had made. It has eliminated nearly all our Excel spreadsheets.

Sunquest: Can you share any metrics on program success?

Valerie: Sure. Versiti has and continues to experience growth in specimens received and patients served. This growth is due to our ability to guide healthcare providers with actionable reports based on the genomic information coming out of our testing and analyses that is then coupled with the deep clinical experience of our medical team. This unique pairing differentiates our services from other laboratories. The Sunquest product allows us to spend less time performing re-work and more time extending our clinical expertise. It also serves as a common platform to allow many members of our cross-functional team to impact each case, something that was much more difficult previously.

Sunquest: Really great to hear! As a final question, what strategic goals do you have for the organization, and how will Sunquest help to support those goals going forward?

Valerie: Versiti continues to innovate and evolve our diagnostic offerings to deliver added clinical value to health care providers. We will be launching additional genomic capabilities in the near future that will enable physicians to better diagnose and treat patients. The Sunquest software will be an enabling operational capability for our growth.

Sunquest: Thank you so much for your time, Valerie. This has been a great snapshot of how genetic testing is managed at Versiti, and we’re very much looking forward to your October webinar, sponsored by GenomeWeb.

Valerie: Thanks, Kiran! I am looking forward to it as well.

About the author
Kiran Ganda Director of Product Marketing
Kiran Ganda
Director of Product Marketing, Precision Medicine

Having worked exclusively in health technology organizations for more than fifteen years, Kiran is passionate about innovations in patient care.

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