Health IT

DOD plugs in new electronic health record system

Shutterstock image: monitoring factors of healthcare. 

After almost four years on the drawing board, the military's new electronic health record system is live at Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington.

The system, called MHS Genesis, uses the Cerner commercial health record system. The vendor group responsible for the installation and upkeep is led by tech integrator Leidos. The group won a $4.3 billion contract to consolidate and modernize the military's electronic health record systems in July 2015.

Stacy Cummings, the program executive officer for Defense Healthcare Management Systems, which led the two-year procurement of the electronic health record, said, "This is an exciting milestone for our team. We worked hard to get to our first [initial operating capability] site, and I can report first hand from the command center that everything is going as expected. Providers at Fairchild are treating patients while the government and contractor team are quickly implementing fixes to issues as they are identified."

Initially, Genesis was supposed to launch at Fairchild and at Oak Harbor Naval Hospital, also in Washington. In October 2016, Cummings told reporters that the delay was allowing DHMS to include some features that were being held for later iterations of the system.

The rollout is taking so long in part because of the complexity of integrating and sharing data with multiple legacy systems used across the military. Leidos may have a leg up in this process, because it handles the Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application, the principal health records system used by the Defense Department. But the process is proving to be a heavier lift for integrators than the replacement of one commercial off-the-shelf system with another, according to officials.

The DOD plans to update the public on the details of the rollout on Feb. 15.

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, health IT and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mr. Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian started his career as an arts reporter and critic, and has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, Architect magazine, and other publications. He was an editorial assistant and staff writer at the now-defunct New York Press and arts editor at the About.com online network in the 1990s, and was a weekly contributor of music and film reviews to the Washington Times from 2007 to 2014.

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


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