Health IT

New round of MHS Genesis go-live dates coming in September

Shutterstock ID: 133503068 By ESB Professional 

A second round of go-live dates for MHS Genesis, the Pentagon's new electronic health records system based on software from Cerner, is set to kick off Sept. 7.

Travis Air Force Base and surrounding areas will convert from legacy systems to MHS Genesis. Nellis Air Force Base and surrounding areas are scheduled for the third wave in June 2020. Full implementation is on target for 2023.

"Implementing a new EHR always has some challenges but is especially complex in the DOD with our unique requirements for operating in an austere environments and for cybersecurity," said Vice Adm. Raquel Bono on a July 30 call with reporters. Bono, who heads the Defense Health Agency, said that officials "have learned important lessons" over the last 18 months at initial operational capability sites in the Pacific Northwest and added that "the lessons learned from the IOC experience will be essential to our work in these sites."

The IOC effort was marked by serious problems, including system failures, latency issues, login problems and a host of issues that led one internal Pentagon oversight body to deem the system unsuitable for use, according to an April 2018 report. Earlier this year, another report that included red-team testing found that the system is "not survivable in a cyber-contested environment."

DHA is making headway on cyber mitigation efforts regarding the new health records system, William Tinston, the program executive officer for Defense Healthcare Management Systems, said on the call. The agency "changed the way we protect the enclave" and has a continuous monitoring cybersecurity team that's co-located with Cerner's commercial data center in Kansas City, he said.

Officials also provided an update on the coordination of electronic health records modernization at DOD and the Department of Veterans Affairs. There's a plan in the works to jointly administer the programs via a new entity called the Federal Electronic Health Record Management group. Tinston said DOD and the VA are in "final coordination" for determining the interim director and interim deputy director, and an announcement is expected "soon" as well as recruiting for permanent leadership.

About the Author

Lauren C. Williams is senior editor for FCW and Defense Systems, covering defense and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.

Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.

Click here for previous articles by Wiliams.


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