The Department of Defense (DoD) has announced that the massive project to modernize the Military Health Systems’ electronic health record (EHR) system, now called MHS Genesis, will launch at the end of this year.
The new EHR implementation will begin in the Pacific Northwest at the end of 2016, followed by a pre-planned, programmed installation expected to be completed over a several-year period, Defense Department officials said.
As previously reported by Healthcare Informatics Managing Editor Rajiv Leventhal, it was announced last July that EHR vendor Cerner won the DoD’s Healthcare Management Systems Modernization (DHMSM) EHR contract. Epic Systems, Cerner and Allscripts Healthcare Solutions were the three vendor finalists for the contract, each with its own team aimed to upgrade the military’s EHR system. Along with Cerner, MHS also is partnering with Accenture Federal Services and Leidos on the project.
In the article, Leventhal stated that the new contract will cover more than 9.5 million Defense Department beneficiaries and the more than 205,000 care providers that support them. “The DoD and the Veterans Administration (VA) are interoperable now, said Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall, but this contract ensures it will continue by including future software upgrades,” Leventhal wrote.
In a press release, DoD stated, “To keep pace with medical advances and innovations in technology, the DOD has purchased a new state of the art EHR that will support us in our mission to continue to provide high quality healthcare to our beneficiaries, as well as an agile, responsive system for our healthcare professionals. The configuration and deployment of MHS Genesis constitute a multi-year effort to provide a state-of-the-market system of sharing health records electronically and documenting the continuum of care.”
“Whether on a ship at sea, at a local clinic, or in a major hospital, MHS Genesis will be available throughout all Department of Defense facilities, and accessible to all members of the DoD’s healthcare team,” the Defense Department stated.
William Roberts, M.D., a retired Navy rear admiral who serves as the MHS functional champion, said MHS Genesis reflects “a whole new way of doing business for the MHS.”
“We’ve looked at this process as finding what is best for the MHS as a whole, not just in individual areas. We see this as the latest step in making sure patients are able to be fully engaged in their own health,” Roberts said in a statement.
“We want people to know MHS Genesis is a safe, secure accessible record for patients and health care professionals that is easily transferred to external providers, including major medical systems and Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals and clinics. When our beneficiaries see this logo or hear the name, they’ll know their records will be seamlessly and efficiently shared with their chosen care provider,” Roberts stated.