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Implementation and evaluation of a genetic services referral phone line in the New York-Mid-Atlantic Consortium (NYMAC) region

Evans, Alyson (2020) Implementation and evaluation of a genetic services referral phone line in the New York-Mid-Atlantic Consortium (NYMAC) region. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The NYMAC Regional Genetics Network implemented the Genetic Services Referral Phone Line in August 2018 with the goal of improving access to genetic services for medically underserved populations. During the first year, the phone line was under-utilized despite multiple marketing efforts to increase awareness amongst individuals and healthcare providers.
NYMAC staff are tasked with maintaining a regional genetics service directory and staffing the phone line. Between August 2018 and February 2020, phone line utilization was tracked and analyzed based on phone line call volume, number of callers who were referred to relevant genetic services or support resources, and number of individuals who contacted phone line staff via email. Online activity related to digital and email marketing campaigns was also tracked. Preliminary qualitative interviews were conducted to gauge healthcare provider perceptions of genetics and the phone line implementation process.
The phone line received 67 calls from 51 unique callers and 6 email inquiries between August 2018 and February 2020. A total of 16 phone and email inquiries were handled by NYMAC staff, providing those inquiring with relevant information for referrals or support resources. The initial digital marketing campaign delivered over 10 million impressions in targeted medically underserved areas throughout Maryland and Delaware and generated over 30,000 website clicks. The provider email campaign reached more than 48,000 healthcare providers in the region and generated 131 website clicks. A subsequent targeted digital marketing campaign launched in New York in January 2020 generated over 5,000 website clicks. Provider interviews identified common themes in perceived patient and provider barriers, as well as perceived utility of the NYMAC phone line and potential future resources.
As the phone line continues to receive sparse calls, additional analysis of call volume and marketing reach is needed in order to guide future implementation efforts. Future studies regarding individual or healthcare provider attitudes and beliefs about decreasing barriers and improving access to genetic services may be warranted. Improving access to genetic services in medically underserved areas is of public health significance, and lessons learned from this project will inform future NYMAC efforts to reach individuals in need of genetic services.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Evans, Alysonaee31@pitt.eduaee31
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDurst,
Committee MemberGrubs,
Committee MemberBear,
Committee MemberVogel,
Date: 30 July 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 13 April 2020
Approval Date: 30 July 2020
Submission Date: 23 March 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 103
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Human Genetics
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Phone line Medically underserved populations Utilization evaluation Quality improvement Genetic Counseling
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2020 18:17
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2020 18:17


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