Combining electronic medical records and genomics research to improve patient care is the goal of the NIH-NHGRI-sponsored eMERGE project. As an integrated healthcare system with more than 16 years of experience using electronic medical records, Geisinger is one of seven healthcare centers in the US to participate in the project.
The eMERGE Network is a national consortium formed to study the relationship between genetic variation and a common human trait, using the technique of genome-wide association analysis. The consortium is composed of seven member sites exploring the ability (and feasibility) of using EMR systems to investigate gene-disease relationships.
More than a dozen phenotypes are currently being investigated by eMERGE. Themes of bioinformatics and ethical, legal, social, and policy issues are of particular relevance to eMERGE. In phase II, the consortium will include a focus on the return of clinically actionable research results.