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Patient Safety: Today, we celebrate “World Patient Safety Day”.

Patient safety is the reduction and prevention of errors within the healthcare system. Although GenomeScan does not directly interact with patients, we devote great attention and efforts to the quality of our diagnostic services. Our services in genome and transcriptome analysis comply with the most stringent standards related to laboratory work and our customers rate our services with an average score of 8.9.

“Not every NGS service provider is born equal”

Current developments around personalized medicine are led by advances in genome sequencing. While whole exome sequencing (WES) and targeted sequencing provide a balance between costs and benefits, whole genome sequencing (WGS) is becoming more and more affordable and provides the most comprehensive approach in clinical studies. The implementation of WGS to diagnose genetic disorders can represent a great benefit for moving towards proactive rather than reactive healthcare. But, because our DNA is unique, there is a lot of safety regulation involved in preventing mistakes and protecting our genetic information. “Not every next generation sequencing (NGS) service provider is born equal,” says Bart Janssen, Manager Quality and Compliance at GenomeScan. “We can proudly mention that multiple bodies, including the Dutch Accreditation Council (RvA), have endorsed our competences (ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO 15189).

GenomeScan built its service portfolio specifically to allow clinicians and geneticists to have full confidence on data safety. “One of the main challenges is the reception, processing and storage of patient material,“ continues Bart. However, the use of a laboratory information management system (LIMS) allows us to manage the high information volume, meet the high quality standards required by accreditation bodies and laboratory ethics, and guarantee the safety of patient data.”

“Ensure end-to-end privacy of patient data”

Next generation sequencing also produces a large amount of data that is highly sensitive. GenomeScan works together with academic medical centers to store, access and protect patient data. Bart emphasize that “we have explicit agreement on the  workflow  that ensures end-to-end privacy of patient data when processed in our laboratory. At no point, we know whose sample we are sequencing, only clinicians and geneticists have access to the data via a multifactor authentication portal.”  By complying to ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO 15189, GenomeScan protects the privacy of the patient’s genomic data. The confidentiality of this information is maintained throughout the process.

Company integrity and service quality

Referring to “Word Patient Safety Day”, our measures and precautions assure the reliability of the services along with the protection of the patients. Genome sequencing will continue to develop, fueling scientific discovery and medical progress. It is important that government agencies and regulation bodies continue to assess company integrity and service quality to ensure that patient safety is respected.

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