ECRI Institute Enhances Its Genetic Test Service with New Tool for Decision Makers

The Evidence Bar™ informs coverage and utilization decisions with evidence-based, bottom-line conclusions

December 13, 2017

PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA—ECRI Institute announces a significant enhancement to ECRIgene™, its independent, evidence-based genetic test information service. The new feature makes it possible for payers and providers to make informed coverage and utilization decisions on genetic tests.

The Evidence Bar™ is an at-a-glance graphic incorporated into the executive summary of ECRIgene’s genetic test product briefs. The graphic conveys ECRI Institute’s judgment on the available evidence of potential benefits and harms of brand-name genetic, genomic, and proteomic tests.

ECRI Institute assigns one of five ratings to the published evidence on a test: unfavorable, raises concerns, inconclusive, somewhat favorable, or very favorable. Inconclusive results are further explained with one of three reasons: no evidence available, too few data available, or mixed results from studies.

"As demand increases for genetic testing, payers and providers have less time to fully examine the available evidence behind genetic tests on their own. The Evidence Bar, backed by our independent research, provides a solid starting point for decision makers as they work to reach a quick, reliable decision on a specific test," says Diane C. Robertson, director, ECRIgene, ECRI Institute.

ECRI Institute strongly emphasizes clinical utility evidence, which reflects on patient outcomes such as improvements in health, survival, and quality of life.

"The sheer volume of genetic tests on the market makes it difficult to determine which ones are truly useful. The Evidence Bar gives payers and providers a way to make sense of the ins and outs of the evidence," says Shoshannah L. Roth, PhD, manager, Emerging Health Technologies, ECRI Institute.

ECRIgene members can search or browse hundreds of up-to-date test profiles, peer-reviewed evidence reports; request custom reports on specific tests; or engage with subject matter experts from ECRI Institute’s multidisciplinary staff. The staff includes doctoral-level research analysts in molecular and cell biology, physicians, nurses, medical informaticists, medical librarians, and other healthcare professionals.

To learn more about The Evidence Bar or ECRIgene, contact ECRI Institute by telephone at (610) 825-6000, ext. 5181; by e-mail at; or by mail at 5200 Butler Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462-1298, USA.

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About ECRI Institute
ECRI Institute (, a nonprofit organization, dedicates itself to bringing the discipline of applied scientific research to healthcare to discover which medical procedures, devices, drugs, and processes enable improved patient care. As pioneers in this science for 50 years, ECRI Institute marries experience and independence with the objectivity of evidence-based research. Strict conflict-of-interest guidelines ensure objectivity. ECRI Institute is designated an Evidence-based Practice Center by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. ECRI Institute PSO is listed as a federally certified Patient Safety Organization by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.