MHS Genesis continues its test rollout to second pilot site

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The Pentagon has launched its electronic health records system at a second location five months after initiating its first pilot.

Defense Health Agency officials said Monday that the interoperable health system — Military Health System Genesis — is now operational at Naval Hospital Oak Harbor, a medical facility servicing more than 20,000 active and retired military and beneficiaries north of Seattle. The system is intended to combine record from multiple providers, including primary care doctors, pharmacies, laboratories, immunization services and dental clinics.

The move is part of a rollout of the EHR system to four Defense Department installations across the Pacific Northwest for pilot testing. MHS Genesis first went live in February at Fairchild Air Force Base outside Spokane, Washington.

While Fairchild offered DHA officials the opportunity to test the system on managing outpatient services, Naval Hospital Oak Harbor expands the scope of what kind of transactions MHS Genesis can handle.

“Naval Hospital Oak Harbor is the first inpatient facility to start using MHS GENESIS,” Stacy Cummings, program executive officer for Defense Healthcare Management Systems’ Program Executive Office, said in a statement.

“Deployment at Oak Harbor brings an additional host of capabilities to our providers and beneficiaries such as maternity care, surgery and blood transfusion management. We continue to transform the delivery of health care and advance data sharing through a modernized electronic health record for service members, veterans and their families,” she said.

All eyes will be on MHS Genesis’ development after Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin’s June 5 decision to adopt the system to replace its current decades-old Veterans Information Systems and Technology Architecture — or VistA — system.

MHS Genesis contractor Cerner will be working on both the DHA’s and VA’s versions of the system simultaneously with the goal of achieving full interoperability for both active duty military and veteran electronic health records.

DHA plans to add MHS Genesis to two more facilities in Washington state — Naval Hospital Bremerton and Madigan Army Medical Center — by the end of the year, with a full deployment of the system scheduled for 2022.

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David Shulkin, Defense Health Agency, Defense Healthcare Management System, DHA, MHS GENESIS, VistA