DoD Set to Launch MHS GENESIS EHR System in Midwest

Following its recent west coast wave, the Department of Defense will implement its new EHR system, MHS GENESIS, in Kansas.

The Department of Defense (DoD) traveled to the Midwest to deploy its new EHR system, MHS GENESIS, to Munson Army Health Center (MAHC) in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

MAHC will soon be one of over 200 DoD locations to deploy the military’s new EHR platform.

As of now, roughly half of MAHC EHRs have transitioned to the new software, and a bridge system remains in place for clinicians to access patient health information, said MAHC.

DoD health officials have said the EHR implementation will strengthen interoperability and allow for patient data exchange between all military branches and connected commercial care providers.

The new system aims to boost effectiveness, improve patient experience and safety, enable the application of standardized workflows, and enhance healthcare delivery.

It will also provide a single patient health record for service members, veterans, and their families.

“It’s going to be a smoother process,” Chelsea Barto, MAHC training coordinator, said in a statement. “There’s going to be a different type of standardization to documentation, so if someone (transfers) to a new site, providers will be able to pull up their documentation from Fort Leavenworth and review it in the same manner that they would document it there.”

Utilizing the MHS GENESIS patient portal, MAHC patients can communicate with providers, schedule appointments, view lab results and health history, and place prescription refill orders.

MHS GENESIS will also provide patients with additional benefits for filling prescriptions at the MAHC Pharmacy.

“We expanded our formulary, which is the list of drugs we’re able to fill prescriptions for, and that’s an effort to standardize (medication lists) across the DoD,” said Gregory Hare, MAHC Pharmacy chief. “It helps create consistency from one site to the next.

“We used to say, ‘No, I’m sorry, we can’t fill this; it’s not on our formulary,’” Hare added. “But, when we’re on the more standard formulary, as long as it’s covered there, we can fill it. We’ve already started to fill prescriptions from the expanded formulary to prepare for that move to Genesis.”

During the first few weeks, leaders at MAHC said patients should expect reduced appointment availability due to the staff adjusting to the new system.

“It’s a learning experience for everyone — for our doctors, our nurses, the pharmacy staff, lab, radiology. It’s going to take a little longer to process your scripts,” Hare said. “There’s going to be some growing pains, but when you look at the other end, the formulary is bigger, your information is all in one place, the transfer is with you from one site with Genesis to the next and soon all DoD will be on this.”

MHS GENESIS is prepared to launch at MAHC on April 24.

MHS GENESIS will deploy across the country and overseas throughout 23 total waves. Each deployment wave will target a specific region of the country per year, with roughly three hospitals and several military treatment facilities for each wave.

The EHR platform is now live with roughly 20,000 active users on the Pacific Wave.

With DoD staff focusing on the coronavirus, DoD paused the necessary EHR training and implementation for several months. However, the agency continued to work on the system's back-end optimization before launching the EHR system at four pilot Coast Guard medical facilities.

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