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DoD Leveraging MHS GENESIS EHR System to Reduce Duplicate Testing

Providers at four DoD care sites have cut duplicate lab test orders and X-rays since going live with the MHS GENESIS EHR system.

Cerner reported improvements in clinical efficiency at MHS GENESIS IOC care sites.

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- Four Department of Defense (DoD) care sites are achieving some improvements in clinical efficiency since going live with the MHS GENESIS EHR system, according to Cerner Government Services President Travis Dalton.

Patients visiting the emergency department at DoD treatment facilities part of the MSH GENESIS initial operating capability (IOC) sites have so far seen a nine-minute reduction in wait times in the 60 days after go-live, said Dalton in a recent blog post.

“We’re in the early phases of this transformation,” wrote Dalton. “It’s a complex endeavor that will take time and involve asking passionate health care providers to change some of the processes they’ve been using for decades.”

Cerner is working with Leidos to deploy MHS GENESIS across all DoD care sites. The EHR vendor has also been contracted to replace VA’s legacy VistA EHR system in a $10 billion EHR implementation project expected to take ten years.

Dalton recently visited DoD’s IOC care sites and met with leadership teams at each of the four treatment facilities to assess the progress of the deployment.

“I am encouraged by the progress being made and the direction we are now headed,” stated Dalton. “Even in this early stage, thanks to the leadership at each site, we’re seeing improvements in patient safety, patient care and efficiency.”

In addition to reducing patient wait times at DoD emergency departments, DoD providers have also leveraged MHS GENESIS to avoid about 2,300 duplicate orders of four common lab tests, Dalton wrote.

Additionally, providers have used the EHR system to avoid more than 400 duplicate chest X-rays.

Online messages exchanged between patients and providers through Cerner’s patient portal also increased by more than 40 percent in the 60 days after go-live.

In the days after the first 60 days of utilizing the MHS GENESIS system, improvements in clinical efficiency have enabled DoD providers to increase the number of patients they are able to see per day at ambulatory care sites by 33 percent.

Providers have also increased the volume of prescription refills by 65 percent.

These improvements followed an Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) report that stated MHS GENESIS is not operationally effective or suitable.  

“The reports confirmed some of the challenges the team was already working to resolve,” wrote Dalton.

“We welcome the feedback from the IOT&E reports as well as direct feedback from end-users and leadership at the IOC sites,” Dalton continued. “We will continue to work with them to optimize and improve the system throughout the lifespan of the program.”

Next, Cerner is looking to launch the next phase of deployment at military care sites in California and Idaho.

Though our work is only beginning with the VA’s EHRM program, we’re continually engaging their leaders and end-users through local workshops and site reviews that are critical to implementation at their IOC sites,” wrote Dalton.

“EHRM will have ongoing innovation and health information exchanges among military and Veteran care facilities and thousands of civilian health care providers throughout the program,” he added.

Joint DoD and VA EHR modernization governance bodies are expected to be in place by 2019 to enable collaborative decision-making between the federal departments.

This collaboration will help to ensure interoperability between DoD and VA care sites.

“We know the commitment a complex IT installation requires,” wrote Dalton. “We also know that there will be hurdles to overcome.”

“Our priority is doing what’s right for our nation’s Servicemembers, Veterans, caregivers and their families,” he concluded.

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