DoD’s new Cerner EHR installed at four more military medical facilities

Following a bumpy rollout at four pilot sites in the Pacific Northwest, the Department of Defense has implemented its new Cerner electronic health record system at four more military hospitals and clinics.

DoD announced on Monday that its Cerner EHR system, called MHS GENESIS, is now up and running at one site in Idaho—366th Medical Group at Mountain Home Air Force Base—and three sites in California—David Grant USAF Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base; Naval Health Clinic Lemoore at Naval Air Station Lemoore; and U.S. Army Health Clinic Presidio of Monterey.

MHS GENESIS was first launched in 2017 at military medical facilities in the Pacific Northwest. However, the initial rollout of the Cerner Millennium platform to pilot sites was not without some major challenges. The system was deemed “neither operationally effective nor operationally suitable,” according to a 2018 report from DoD’s director of operational test and evaluation (DOT&E) that was based on an assessment of three of four pilot sites in Washington state.

However, as part of Monday’s announcement on the four newest MHS GENESIS sites, the Pentagon contends that after “rigorous testing, training and change management efforts during its rollout,” DoD leaders are now “confident all issues have been rectified.”

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“Working with the functional community, we have made significant strides since our initial sites (deployment),” said William Tinston, program executive officer for the Program Executive Office Defense Health Care Management Systems, regarding the current deployment of MHS GENESIS. “We have enhanced our training, as well as ensured the network is ready for full system implementation. We have the right people in place, and I look forward to the continued implementation throughout the Military Health System.”

MHS GENESIS is being installed in “planned waves” and is on track for full deployment worldwide by the end of calendar year 2023, according to DoD officials, who said the next three installations—scheduled for 2020—will be at other military medical facilities in Alaska, California and Nevada.

“Implementing a new healthcare delivery system like MHS GENESIS is about enhancing quality and safety,” said Air Force Maj. Gen. Lee Payne, assistant director for combat support at the Defense Health Agency and MHS GENESIS functional champion. “As a provider myself, I understand this all too well. That’s why MHS GENESIS is designed to foster better management of chronic, complex and time-sensitive conditions. It provides automated real-time clinical decision support for providers, and enables patients to communicate directly with their doctors."

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