Health IT

New DOD health record to go live in February

 Shutterstock image: global health. 

The Pentagon's new commercial electronic health records system will have its initial deployment at Fairchild Air Force Base outside Spokane, Wash., in February 2017, about two months later than initially planned.

The system, dubbed MHS Genesis, was acquired by the Pentagon in July 2015 for $4.3 billion, and was scheduled to be deployed at two sites in the Pacific Northwest by the end of 2016. The system combines the Cerner commercial electronic health record and a dental system from Henry Schein, with Leidos leading the team as integrator.

The initial deployment schedule proved to be too ambitious, given some hurdles identified by the Defense Healthcare Management Systems organization running the procurement and implementation. Many of these, including cybersecurity risk management and a compressed testing schedule, were spelled out in a DOD Inspector General Report obtained by FCW via a Freedom of Information Act request.

"During testing, we identified issues that led us to determine initial time was needed to ensure the best possible solution to users at the initial fielding sites in the Pacific Northwest," said DHMS Program Executive Officer Stacy Cummings in an Oct. 11 call with reporters. Cummings said the delay "does take into account those risks that were identified by the IG, but also those risks that were identified by us... to include the government and contractor team together."

The initial deployment also set to include the naval hospital at Oak Harbor, Wash., but the revised schedule pushed back that deployment until June 2017. Cummings, however, said the delay has given DHMS the opportunity to roll out some features that were set to be included in later deployments, including a voice recognition capability and a blood transfusion management system.

The system will also go live with connections to Veterans Affairs health data, via the Joint Legacy Viewer developed to bridge the gap between legacy Pentagon systems and the VA's Vista system. Cummings said the JLV "is an integral part of our MHS Genesis deployment, as is the infrastructure that supports it in the background."

Cummings said the target to complete installation of MHS Genesis at all DOD sites by 2022 will not be affected by the delay. Nor will the $4.3 billion price tag increase as a result, she said.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, New York Press, Architect Magazine and other publications.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


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