Development of the Critical Elements of Genetic Evaluation and Genetic Counseling for Genetic Professionals and Perinatologists in Washington State

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We present a method for the development of consensus documents describing the components of genetic evaluation and genetic counseling for various diagnoses. These documents were developed to encourage consistency among genetic professionals in Washington State. Other possible uses of these documents are to provide information regarding genetic evaluations for health care practitioners and payers, and to assist in quality assurance and genetic training programs. A working group of six genetic professionals developed two templates for the “critical elements of genetic evaluation and genetic counseling,” for clinical (nonprenatal) and prenatal patients. The working group then completed prototype templates for several specific genetic disorders. The templates and prototypes were sent to interested genetic professionals and perinatologists who submitted a total of 76 draft “critical elements” (CE's) to the working group. At two statewide meetings, participating practitioners modified and unanimously approved the CE templates, then unanimously approved the 21 draft CEs that had been finalized in small group discussions. Approved CE's were distributed to genetic professionals and perinatologists within the state.

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