TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – David Grant USAF Medical Center at Travis will go live with the Department of Defense’s new electronic health record, Military Healthcare System GENESIS, in September.
The system will eventually allow providers at any military medical facility in the world to access a patient’s medical records and allow patients to securely exchange messages with their provider.
Since the system includes a patient portal, beneficiaries can view their health information, including notes from their provider, test and laboratory results and request prescription refills, said Lt. Col. John DaLomba 60th Medical Group director of operations.
“With MHS GENESIS, all inpatient and outpatient records will be in one system so there is less opportunity for information to be lost in transition,” he said.
Providers and other medical staff will schedule patient appointments, annotate patient records, order laboratory tests and X-rays as well as prescription medications all on one system without closing one program to open another.
Representatives from the Defense Health Agency visited Travis April 23 to talk about MHS GENESIS and to speak with end users.
Navy Vice Adm. Raquel Bono, DHA director, and Maj. Gen. Lee Payne, MHS GENESIS functional champion – also a former 60th Medical Group commander – briefly toured the medical center and later, answered questions during a town hall meeting with DGMC staff members.
“MHS GENESIS is important for what we are doing in the military health care system,” said Bono.
The fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act directed the transfer of administrative and managerial responsibilities for all medical treatment facilities to DHA beginning in October 2018.
Under the plan, the services retain responsibility for organizing, training and equipping personnel for operational readiness while DHA assumes responsibility for health care delivery, business operations and supporting readiness.
Military medical facilities are migrating medical documents to MHS GENESIS to standardize care across the DoD, allow providers to collaborate on patient care and improve health outcomes.
MHS GENESIS replaces legacy systems, which cannot be upgraded to be compatible with today’s technology.
“It’s gotten to the point that we can’t upgrade (the legacy systems) to meet some of the technological specifications or use with our IT equipment,” said Bono. “As we become more advanced, that will become an issue.”
With legacy systems, medical information is stored on local servers. With MHS GENESIS, medical information is stored in the cloud, which means providers at any military treatment facility can access their patient’s medical records from any military hospital or medical clinic in the world.
“From my quick tour of the heart, lung vascular center, you’re using high-tech equipment to care for patients,” said Bono. “When we have an electronic health record that can’t keep pace with what you’re doing here, we really need to do something about that.”
The MHS GENESIS system is being deployed in waves and Travis is one of four military installations in the first wave, said DaLomba. Other California bases include Naval Air Station Lemoore and U.S. Army Health Clinic Presidio of Monterey. Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, is also in the first wave.
DGMC personnel are currently being trained on the system and will begin using it exclusively for inpatient and outpatient records in September, said DaLomba. DGMC currently maintains three electronic health care systems. Medical data from each of the systems will be transferred to MHS GENESIS.
DHA conducted initial operational capability tests of MHS GENESIS in the Pacific Northwest in 2017. Users discovered some operational discrepancies in the system, which have been corrected. However, DGMC users may encounter further glitches in the system, which Bono said DHA will address.
“Based on the comments and the way you presented yourselves during my quick tour … you’re on the leading edge, making things happen, making things happen for the right reasons and you’re not afraid to test these things and help us figure out what we need to do,” said Bono.
“I’m excited that David Grant is leaning forward and is probably going to make this (transition) happen in a way we haven’t seen,” she said. “I’m very excited.”