By Suzanne Ovel
Madigan Army Medical Center
The Department of Defense’s (DOD) new electronic health record, MHS GENESIS, is making its Army debut in Fall 2017 at Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
While MHS GENESIS first went live at the Fairchild Air Force Base clinic and Naval Hospital Oak Harbor (and is tentatively scheduled to go live at the Naval Hospital Bremerton in September), all in Washington State, Madigan is the first large military treatment facility to implement the DOD initiative.”
“Madigan was chosen to help lead the implementation of MHS GENESIS because of the breadth of our mission and our long-standing reputation for innovation. Our staff is intimately involved in the refining of MHS GENESIS for all of the Department of Defense; we are proud to help shape the future of military medicine,” said Col. Michael Place, commander of Madigan Army Medical Center.
Madigan offers inpatient, outpatient and in-house specialty services; the medical center is also considered a “Most Wired” hospital for the quality and innovativeness of its information technology and informatics programs.
With MHS GENESIS, DOD opted to purchase an established commercial electronic health record. The program will roll out to all DOD health care facilities in phases through 2022; it will replace multiple separate electronic health records currently used by the military services.
“Because MHS GENESIS will provide a single, comprehensive electronic health record for all services, all locations, and all patient settings, our patients — from the front lines to our medical centers — will benefit from improved continuity of care and patient safety,” Place said. “Our all-volunteer force deserves this increased level of care and capability, and we’re honored to be a part of the effort to provide it through MHS GENESIS.”
While many of the benefits to patients will be behind the scenes, patients will be able to use an enhanced patient portal which replaces the Army’s RelayHealth portal. The patient portal interfaces directly with MHS GENESIS, allowing patients to directly interact with their providers.
Using one integrated electronic health record across all services will also improve health care integration and interoperability as well as patient safety, said Maj. Jonpaul Trossi, DOD Healthcare Management Systems Modernization office Army liaison.
It also enhances systemic health care reports, quality measures and clinical decision-making. Because MHS GENESIS is a commercial product, any update to the software will occur system wide in real time.
The use of MHS GENESIS will lead to increased interoperability with the Department of Veterans Affairs and civilian health care systems as they all work toward establishing a Health Information Exchange.
In the meantime, Madigan is working with DOD and the MHS GENESIS contractor to provide feedback on how to refine MHS GENESIS to meet the needs of DOD health care staff and patients, Trossi said.
“We’re serving to provide a template or playbook as to how to roll out to the rest of DOD for implementation of MHS GENESIS, so they’re taking our lessons learned or how we implement it and applying what we learned into those implementations as well,” he said.