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DoD Reaches 30% Rollout for MHS GENESIS Cerner EHR Integration

DoD’s Cerner EHR integration, set to improve interoperability, is almost a third complete with 42,000 active users across more than 12 states.

The Department of Defense (DoD) is on track to complete its Cerner EHR integration by September 2023 with the rollout nearly a third complete, according to The Business of Federal Technology.

On a June 10 press call, DoD officials told reporters that there are 42,000 active users across over a dozen states.

Holly Joers, acting program executive officer for Defense Healthcare Management Systems, said that the latest deployment of MHS GENISIS, Wave Carson Plus, ended April 24, indicating 30 percent completion of the EHR rollout across military treatment facilities.

Wave Carson Plus was the largest deployment to date, adding approximately 10,000 active users to the system across 11 states and 20 military installations.

Joers said that DOD is on schedule to complete the EHR rollout by the end of 2023.

The next go live deployment, Wave Tripler, will happen in Hawaii at the end of September, Joers noted.

"As of this summer, we will have about 12 waves in flight," Joers told reporters.

"We're going down next week to kick off the Eglin Air Force Base and Jacksonville [Florida] waves,” she said. “We start this process 18 months out with a kickoff and a discussion with the commanders, and anything that we discover, whether it's a new medical device that needs to be brought online, we have a process to handle it that is efficient.”

As the rollout continues, standardizing operational workflows across military treatment facilities will be key.

"The standardization of workflows and processes across the enterprise is actually one of the most important things about this system, but the most critical piece is because of that standardization, safety has improved," said Maj. Gen. Ned Appenzeller, Defense Health Agency assistant director for combat support.

Appenzeller told reporters that each deployment offers room for improvements in training, techniques, and procedures. So far, he said that one of the most meaningful features of the EHR integration is the ability to see when, and for how long, a patient accesses her health record.

"One of the most impressive things is actually the data management capabilities that we have where we can actually see how much time people are spending in the record during duty hours and after duty hours," he said.

DoD leaders have said the EHR implementation will support patient data exchange between all military branches and affiliated commercial care providers.

“The goal for MHS GENESIS is to consolidate health information into single platform and provide a continuum of care from point of injury to definitive treatment at any military treatment facility worldwide," Colonel Garrick Cramer, Commander Munson Army Health Center, said in an April statement.

"MHS GENESIS will greatly increase efficiencies for both beneficiaries and healthcare professionals through a DoD-wide, unified system that will also continue into the Veterans Affairs medical care system," he added.

To help aid new users with day-to-day EHR usability issues during the first two weeks of implementation, DoD established the MHS GENESIS Transition Command Center.

"While this transition has been planned for quite some time, we used a phased approach to our transition to MHS Genesis," Cramer said. "In addition, we also leveraged experience from members across the Defense Health Agency who were on site to assist medical staff with workflow builds and system checks to expedite efficiency. These efforts have been very crucial to the successful adoption our new EHR."

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