Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) announced it has successfully launched its new EHR system, MHS GENESIS, as a part of the Pacific Wave group deployment.
NMCSD is now one of over 200 military locations to deploy the EHR platform. “The progress to date demonstrates our team’s focus and commitment to ensuring we have the right people in the right places to get this done,” said Holly Joers, acting program executive officer for the Defense Healthcare Management Systems (DHMS).
The EHR implementation intends to increase interoperability and allow for patient data exchange between all military branches and connected commercial care providers.
The new system aims to increase efficiencies, improve patient experience and safety, enable the application of standardized workflows, and integrate healthcare delivery.
It will also provide a single patient health record for service members, veterans, and their families.
“Now more than ever our military needs the most advanced healthcare delivery system,” said Liz Porter, president of Leidos Health Group. “We remain diligently focused on meeting the implementation schedule for this vital program and are proud of the team’s ability to continue delivering during these challenging times.”
Leidos said the EHR platform is now live with roughly 20,000 active users on the Pacific Wave.
“You’ve all done an amazing job and I thank you,” Brad Smith, commanding officer at NMCSD, said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “I appreciate all of your hard work and look forward to what’s to come.”
Staff training, internal infrastructure changes, and health IT upgrades have occurred over the past few months before launch, Smith noted.
The new system also includes a patient portal to allow patients to view their health information online, securely message providers, access test results, and request prescription refills online.
However, during the next few weeks, leaders at NMCSD said its patients should expect reduced appointment availability.
“This is necessary to ensure that the provider teams have sufficient time during and between appointments to deliver safe care while navigating the new system,” said Matthew Wauson, NMCSD MHS GENESIS lead.
MHS GENESIS will deploy across the country and overseas throughout 23 total waves. Each deployment wave aims to target a specific region of the country per year, with roughly three hospitals and several military treatment facilities for each wave.
Following the Pacific Wave, the Atlantic Wave will begin in early 2021 at Coast Guard Atlantic Area shore health facilities. According to the Coast Guard, both the Pacific and Atlantic waves and the subsequent deployment activities are recognized as Segment A of the Coast Guard EHR acquisition program.
Once the Coast Guard completes the first two waves, estimated by 2022, the military branch plans to implement MHS GENESIS into 43 ashore medical clinics and 67 ashore sick bays.
The next segment, Segment B, targets the Coast Guard’s medical and dental radiology system. This deployment is scheduled for completion by June 2024.
Following Segment B, Segment C will eventually modernize the Coast Guard’s afloat sickbays. There currently is no implementation timetable set for Segment C.
The EHR implementation process has been rocky for the DoD, which began in 2018.
The MHS GENESIS implementation was recently delayed in April 2020 due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With DoD staff focusing on the coronavirus, the necessary EHR training and implementation were paused 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.