Last week, the U.S. Defense Department deployed a commercial, off-the-shelf electronic health record system from Cerner at Fairchild Air Force Baes in Spokane, Washington as part of a DOD-wide roll out of the EHR system.
Fairchild’s 92nd Medical Group became the first military hospital or clinic in the Pacific Northwest to use the new EHR system, named Military Health System (MHS) GENESIS, which is a single, integrated electronic inpatient and outpatient health record. MHS GENESIS is the new EHR managed by the DoD Healthcare Management System Modernization (DHMSM) Program Management Office (PMO), under the Program Executive Office, Defense Healthcare Management Systems (PEO DHMS).
Initial feedback from health care providers at Fairchild is positive, according to Stacy Cummings, program executive officer of Defense Healthcare Management Systems, in a prepared statement as part of a press release about the MHS Genesis roll out.
"We have made significant progress developing interfaces, user-approved workflows, and technical integration of the baseline operational system,” Cummings said in a statement. “Our team remains focused on providing a modern, secure, and connected system for our beneficiaries and healthcare providers from day one.”
MHS Genesis rolled out at Fairchild AFB and will be implemented throughout the MHS by 2022. Fairchild AFB is the first of four locations in the northwest selected to launch the new system. In the next year, MHS GENESIS will deploy at three other military medical facilities in Washington state: Naval Hospital Bremerton in Bremerton; Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma and Naval Hospital Oak Harbor in Oak Harbor.
“Full deployment will be complete in 2022 across the nation and around the world for our facilities, medical treatment facilities and garrisons,” Cummings said. “We remain confident that MHS GENESIS will transform the delivery of health care and advanced data sharing through a modern electronic health record for service members, veterans and their families.”
In 2015, the Pentagon awarded a $4.3 billion contract to Leidos to modernize DoD’s EHR system. The Leidos-led team includes consultancy Accenture and Cerner to provide the core Millennium capability.
According to a Military Health System press release, during a ceremony Feb. 15, 2017, at Fairchild AFB, Navy Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, director, Defense Health Agency, said starting in the Pacific Northwest and phasing it into the rest of the MHS over the course of several years allows time to tweak as necessary to meet any changing needs and identify and correct unanticipated problems early.
“This is just the first step in implementing what will be the largest integrated inpatient and outpatient electronic health record in the United States,” Bono said in a statement. “Our beneficiaries’ health care providers will have the latest advancements in technology in a timely manner with minimal disruption to care, giving their patients high quality, safe health care. Patients will also have greater access to their information, letting them be more engaged in their own health-related activities.”
The MHS Genesis system enables the Department of Veterans Affairs and private-sector health care partners the necessary data to collaborate and make the best possible health care decisions, Cummings said. MHS GENESIS maintains electronic health record interoperability with VA medical facilities through the use of Joint Legacy Viewer, she noted. “We have integrated MHS GENESIS to be a tool that will continue to allow us to share data with VA and our commercial health care providers who are our partners,” she said.
According to the Defense Department, MHS GENESIS will support the availability of electronic health records for more than 9.4 million DoD beneficiaries and approximately 205,000 MHS personnel globally. It enables the application of standardized workflows, integrated health care delivery, and data standards for the improved and secure electronic exchange of medical and patient data.