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D2D lays down road ahead for MHS GENESIS rollout

Mark Goodge, chief technology officer for the Defense Health Agency, speaks to attendees of the Defense Health Information Technology Symposium about the agency Desktop to Datacenter initiative. Mark Goodge, chief technology officer for the Defense Health Agency, speaks to attendees of the Defense Health Information Technology Symposium about the agency Desktop to Datacenter initiative.

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As military treatment facilities prepare for MHS GENESIS, the Military Health System’s new electronic health record, patients and providers will soon embrace more access and better delivery of care. Behind the scenes, experts have been working away in a metaphorical sense at paving the roads, and aligning every nook and cranny for a successful deployment through improvements to network infrastructure. 


“It is a coordinated effort,” said Mark Goodge, chief technology officer for the Military Health System, speaking at Defense Health IT Symposium in Orlando, Florida, on July 25. 


More efficient and effect IT delivery as a service was asked for both internally and by Congress, Goodge said. “We’re a very large shared service in Defense Health Agency. We provide those every day.”


Defense Health Agency’s D2D program, or Desktop to Datacenter Baseline, is a strategic initiative for streamlining health IT service lines across the Military Health System. Goodge said the program lays down the groundwork for standard platform security desktops and IT services in every military treatment facility in the MHS. 


“Our people are demanding more movement in hospitals and more on-time demand of consuming data or publishing data so that we can take care of our beneficiaries more succinctly, safely, and securely,” said Goodge. “We’re data consumer society now so we must move our infrastructure, project, and forward deploy those capabilities that allow us to be a data consumer society.” 


The D2D program standardizes the IT infrastructure throughout the Department of Defense’s medical enterprise, which will ultimately support the deployment of MHS GENESIS. Over the next few years, D2D teams will migrate all MHS GENESIS interfacing systems – including workstation kiosks, servers, clinical systems, and medical devices – to the medical community of interest, or Med-COI. The Med-COI was established to provide a consolidated and dedicated platform for the MHS’ medical IT network. 


The Med-COI provides users with a single, stable, and secure network to exchange and process information across the enterprise. By standardizing access to information, this platform helps increase operational time and availability to providers throughout the MHS, without limitations on service affiliation or location, said Goodge. 


In preparation for the migration, which is already underway, DHA coordinates with military hospitals and clinics to collect and organize data for a site migration plan, said Goodge. The goal is to support business functions not only at the hospital, but also the lines of businesses that stem from that facility. 


“Knowing the persona of each facility is important to us,” said Goodge, adding that it’s important to have open communication so his team can have a better understanding of what, where, and when is best to apply the D2D program for them. “It’s their house [and] we just need to gain that understanding of it so we can start building up all the artifacts, ordering equipment and make sure the IP addresses are all correct, so when we come in there, there’s less variables for us to work with.” 


Tom Hines, Med-COI expert at Defense Health Agency, said site coordination and trading information is needed to accomplish that timeline.


“Up to 20 sites will be in process at any one point in time in the next two years,” said Hines.


Migrating military treatment facilities to the Med-COI platform began in 2017, and the goal is to complete the process in 2020. It affects a total of 155 MTF sites, three headquarters, and almost 600 other lines of business. Once the migration is complete, providers will be able to access information from across the entire DoD health care environment, regardless of location.


Hines said DHA is continuously refining the program, and getting feedback from sites is appreciated.


“We’re available to talk. The more we talk, the more we know, the more we exchange data, the more successful this program will be,” said Goodge. “We have two years to get this program done.”


 

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