Sanford Health Launches System-Wide, EHR-Integrated Pharmacogenetics Service Using Syapse Platform
Posted by: Andro Hsu 06/04/2015

Integrating pharmacogenetic testing and clinical decision support in the electronic health record (EHR) will improve patient safety across clinical service lines

SIOUX FALLS, S.D., and PALO ALTO, Calif., June 4, 2015 – Sanford Health, one of the largest health care systems in the United States, announced the first enterprise-wide availability of real-time drug dosing and order modification alerts tailored to a patient’s genetic profile within a commercial EHR system. Sanford Health has automated pharmacogenetic clinical decision support and the internal test process using Syapse Precision Medicine Platform. 

To provide these services, Sanford Health’s clinical molecular genetics laboratory analyses a custom panel of genes involved in drug metabolism.  The Syapse platform delivers clinically actionable drug metabolizer status information to the EHR, where real-time alerts suggest dosage changes or alternative drugs, as appropriate.

“Pharmacogenetic data are most useful when actionable decision support is provided in the EHR right when a clinician orders a drug,” said Gene Hoyme, MD, Sanford Health chief of genetic and genomic medicine. “Many health care organizations have been planning to do this, but our pharmacogenetics service was live and available in the EHR within six months.”

Sanford Health’s integrated health plan will pay for the service, subject to deductibles and copays, which combines genetic testing and EHR-based therapeutic decision support to help clinicians safely prescribe and dose common drugs, including statins, blood thinners, anti-cancer drugs and painkillers. Pharmacogenetic testing is available for all Sanford patients and can be ordered by any Sanford physician, including primary care providers.

“We couldn’t even think of rolling out pharmacogenetic testing at this scale without automation and integration,” said Megan Landsverk, Ph.D., director of Sanford’s clinical molecular genetics laboratory. “Running the test is straightforward, but mapping the genetic data to metabolizer status and providing decision support at the point of care is a highly complex process. It can take hours to do manually for a single patient, but we can now do it in seconds.”

Sanford Imagenetics is a first-of-its-kind program that fully integrates genetic testing and counseling into adult primary care with unprecedented patient-specific information.  Imagenetics was established with a $125 million gift from Denny Sanford, the preeminent health care philanthropist in the United States.

“Sanford Imagenetics, along with Sanford’s integrated delivery model and health plan, is leading the transformation of medical care from fee-for-service to fee-for-value. The value of pharmacogenetics to an integrated, at-risk health system is very high,” said Jonathan Hirsch, Founder & President of Syapse. “As more provider organizations move to a fee-for-value model, they’ll want to adopt and integrate pharmacogenetic testing at scale.”

About Sanford Health

Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in the Dakotas. It is one of the largest health systems in the nation with 43 hospitals and nearly 250 clinics in nine states and three countries. Sanford Health’s 27,000 employees, including 1,400 physicians, make it the largest employer in the Dakotas. Nearly $1 billion in gifts from philanthropist Denny Sanford have allowed for several initiatives, including global children's clinics, genomic medicine and specialized centers researching cures for type 1 diabetes, breast cancer and other diseases. For more information, visit

About Syapse

Syapse software enables healthcare providers to deploy precision medicine programs. Leading academic and community healthcare providers use the Syapse Precision Medicine Platform to integrate complex genomic and clinical data to provide clinicians with actionable insights at point of care, enabling diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes tracking. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Syapse is backed by The Social+Capital Partnership and Safeguard Scientifics. For more information, please visit