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DoD Rolls Out Cerner EHR at Second Military Base

July 18, 2017
by Heather Landi
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Naval Hospital Oak Harbor in Washington State went live with the MHS Genesis electronic health record (EHR) system from Cerner on Saturday, marking the second site to come online as part of the U.S. Department of Defense’s initial operating capacity program.

According to an announcement from Cerner, the go-live marks a significant milestone as the inpatient components of the MHS Genesis are now officially deployed.

The EHR system, named MHS Genesis, first rolled out at Fairchild Air Force Baes in Spokane, Washington in February, and will be implemented throughout the military health system by 2022.

Fairchild AFB was the first of four locations in the northwest selected to launch the new system. Officials have said that the plan is to start in the Pacific Northwest and then phase it into the rest of the MHS over the course of several years, which will allow time to tweak it as necessary to meet any changing needs, and identify and correct unanticipated problems early.

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 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.

According to a Cerner blog post written by Travis Dalton, senior vice president at Cerner, the integrated system aggregates information into a single EHR, standardized across the branches of the military, to facilitate the safe transition of care across the spectrum of military operations to include garrison, theatre, and en route care. “At its core, MHS GENESIS is the same commercially available, off-the-shelf electronic medical record that is deployed at thousands of facilities worldwide, operating on one code set,” Dalton wrote.

“Ultimately, this creates an integrated and longitudinal patient record and coordination across the continuum of care, regardless of environment, scope and size of military and dental treatment facilities. The ability to integrate and share interoperable patient information with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs health care enterprise and civilian health systems is critical and is inherently built into MHS GENESIS,” Dalton wrote.

With the Oak Harbor go-live, a variety of MHS GENESIS applications and capabilities that will improve patient safety and clinical efficiency have been deployed for the first time. A few of these include a single integrated record across ambulatory, acute and all other venues in the Oak Harbor medical enterprise and medical device interoperability via Cerner’s CareAware medical device connectivity platform; at Oak Harbor medical device data is seamlessly integrating with the MHS GENESIS electronic medical record. Also, a labor and maternity-specific module designed to create a new infant record upon barcode scan and treatment plans tailored to mother and child also has been deployed.

The DoD’s MHS GENESIS project encompasses the replacement of three existing EHRs to create a single patient record. It is interoperable with 24 legacy systems, and it’s also engineered to enable interoperability between the private and public sectors, Dalton wrote. “MHS GENESIS is designed so that a record can follow a solider once they leave active military duty or if they visit a civilian health facility,” he wrote.

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