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Local News | Dec. 12, 2023

MHS GENESIS Now Operational in Europe, Pacific

By Mark Oswell

MHS GENESIS, the Department of Defense’s new electronic health record, is now operational in the European and Indo-Pacific regions.

On October 28, MHS GENESIS came on-line at military hospitals and clinics in Japan, South Korea, and Diego Garcia. At the end of September, it went live at bases in Europe, including England, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, and Turkey.

“I’m pleased with how our teams have worked with military hospital leaders and staff to continuously find ways to improve the adoption of MHS GENESIS,” explained Jake Terrell, chief of staff for DHA Health Informatics. “The feedback we’ve received during each deployment has been invaluable. Moving forward, our goal is to continue leveraging feedback from MHS GENESIS users to improve the system’s usability and deliver world-class care for our patients.”

MHS GENESIS is the Military Health System’s advanced electronic health record, which has incrementally replaced a patchwork of several legacy systems for the past six years.

Now nearly fully deployed, with only three sites remaining, MHS GENESIS will provide DOD's 9.6 million beneficiaries and 205,000 medical providers with a single, integrated health record across the continuum of care.

“Our go-live deployment went very well,” explained U.S. Navy Cmdr. Michelle Sangiorgi chief medical information officer for Naval Hospital Okinawa. “Our staff were well trained and ready for the go live transition. It is also better than having to use multiple systems to complete patient care.”

“Overall, I think most people like MHS GENESIS. There are a lot of “clicks” and an initial steep learning curve, but I think most people see the value in the system and understand that it will continue to get easier to use.”

Features of MHS GENESIS include:

• A modern patient portal serving as the patient’s “dashboard” to see and manage appointments; send secure messages; complete pre-visit questionaries; view all past appointments; and view clinical notes and lab and test results.
• Better management of chronic, complex, and time-sensitive health conditions.
• A unique health library for patients to search for almost anything about their health.
• Business tools allowing hospitals and clinics to accurately collect patient information at the start of a visit.

“In 2016, we had a disjointed system, and we just couldn’t make the old systems do what we needed them to do,” explained U.S Air Force Col. Thomas Cantilina, chief of the DHA’s chief health informatics officer and MHS GENESIS deputy functional champion. “Now we have a single system that is more secure, brings more capability for patients and providers, and provides greater interoperability of patient information across all military hospitals and clinics and with the VA.”

This increased capability was lauded by Air Force Master Sgt. Aza Pierce, the MHS GENESIS subject matter expert for the 18th Medical Group at Kadena Air Base on the island of Okinawa. “Our military hospital transitioned to MHS GENESIS smoothly. Following the first two weeks of deployment, our hospital was able to increase our patient workload from 50% to 75%.”

While the new EHR deployed successfully across most of the Pacific Rim, two of the last sites to switch over, Naval Hospital Guam and the Air Force clinic at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, are scheduled for mid-January 2024. They were delayed from the severe impacts of Super Typhoon Mawar at the end of May.

The last two medical facilities to bring MHS GENESIS online are in Great Lakes, Illinois, north of Chicago, in March 2024. First, the DOD and the Department of Veterans Affairs will complete a synchronous deployment at the James A. Lovell Federal Health Center, a first-of-its-kind hospital partnership between the VA and DOD, integrating all medical care into a single federal health care facility. This is followed by the Naval Health Clinic at Naval Station Great Lakes.

For the DOD, this will then conclude the operational deployment at over 3,000 sites at U.S. military hospitals and clinics worldwide in just over four years.

Limited fielding for the initial operational capability of MHS GENESIS began in February 2017 at four sites in the Pacific Northwest. Since initial deployment, MHS GENESIS has undergone multiple upgrades, stabilization and adoption changes, and thousands of configuration changes. In September 2019, incremental deployment began and continued through the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. Air Force personnel assigned to the 36th Medical Group learn to use the Military Health System Genesis program at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Jan. 12, 2024. MHS Genesis is an advanced electronic health record, that has replaced several legacy systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Allon Lapaix)

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