Program Strategy 3: Provider Education

All funded programs are required to conduct activities to educate providers on topics related to family history and cancer genomics. The goals of these activities are to—

  • Provide accurate information and resources for providers.
  • Improve provider knowledge and skills when interacting with patients.

Topics for provider education, whether addressing primary care or specialty providers, may include, but are not limited to—

  • Conducting family history screening and ordering tumor testing.
  • Engaging in shared decision-making in the use of genetic counseling and/or testing.
  • Referring the appropriate patients to cancer genetic services.
  • Working with payers to get cancer genetic services covered.
  • Recommending appropriate cancer screening for those with a family history of cancer.
  • Interpreting and discussing results of genetic testing, including results of genetic panel tests.
  • Recommending risk management practices for high-risk patients.

Educational efforts should discuss cancer types associated with hereditary cancer syndromes, specifically HBOC and LS, including breast, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, colorectal, and uterine/endometrial cancers. Genes associated with HBOC and LS include BRCA1/2 and the mismatch repair genes. Other genes may be included in education efforts when relevant, such as when discussing additional cancer types, other hereditary cancer syndromes, and multi-gene panel testing.

Activity implementation modes may include, but are not limited to—

  • CME courses or opportunities.
  • Workshops.
  • Mentoring programs.
  • Tumor boards, case conferences, or journal clubs.
  • Webinar or website engagement.
  • Curricula for trainees.

Dissemination of provider resources, including training on how to use these resources is required. Resources may include, but are not limited to, paper or digital versions of—

  • Clinical decision aids.
  • Guides to genetic testing options and interpretation.
  • Family history collection and screening tools.
  • Genetic counseling and testing referral guides.
  • Guides on managing high-risk patients.

Education events and programs for providers should be based on adult learning principles.

Evaluation of educational events or activities is an essential component of this strategy. Specifically, understanding reach, efficacy, and activity implementation are of upmost importance. Measuring changes in awareness, knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes should be a component of evaluation efforts. In addition, measuring changes in behavior, if feasible, is highly desired.