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MHS GENESIS has successful launch at Naval Medical Center San Diego

Image of Military personnel standing in front of Naval Medical Center cutting a red ribbon. Leaders from Naval Medical Center San Diego, MHS Genesis, and the Defense Health Agency celebrate the launch of MHS Genesis electronic health records at NMCSD with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Feb. 27 (Photo by: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Vernishia Vaughn).

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MHS GENESIS launched at Naval Medical Center San Diego in February, but little did the team know a critical patient would arrive the very first weekend.

The NMCSD team delivered a severely ill 27-week-old newborn who required various medications and life support. A family medicine resident, Navy Lt. (Dr.) Hilary Hopkins, who trained on the new record for Wave Pendleton's Go-Live, was doing rounds in the neonatal intensive care unit and knew that MHS GENESIS was the right solution. Hopkins helped the team successfully document the delivery and care of the newborn via MHS GENESIS.

The successful outcome was the result of a long-term strategy in the deployment process. NMCSD was part of the most complex Wave deployed to date, involving more specialties than any previous deployment. Providers who trained in preparation for Wave Pendleton in October 2020 often work at NMCSD, which meant that NMCSD had a cadre of users who were familiar with the new record, ready and able to assist their colleagues. Hopkins knew how to use MHS GENESIS because she already had four months' experience with it.

"We knew a successful Go-Live at Camp Pendleton was going to drive a successful Go-Live at NMCSD. Providers at both MTFs share patients, specialists and residents all the time," said Navy Cmdr. (Dr.) Alexander Holston, chief medical informatics officer for the Department of Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization (DHMSM) program office and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. "In my experience, MHS GENESIS displays better patient information and orders compared with our existing systems. As a provider using MHS GENESIS, I am looking forward to using a modern (Electronic Heath Record system) that enables better clinical information support tools and better ways for providers to view information, including standard size order sets, and allowing for more intuitive ways to document patient care."

When Holston was practicing at another military medical treatment facility, a similar situation occurred with a 28-week-old newborn. At that MTF, the infant's delivery was documented using the other systems that will be replaced by MHS GENESIS. Holston said he noticed a significant difference between documentation processes in the new and existing health record systems. By documenting the patient's care in MHS GENESIS, providers can treat patients more effectively by using real-time imaging and clinical decision support tools. This ease of use improves the provider experience as well as patient outcomes.

Wave San Diego involved more system users and more health care specialties than any Wave to date; yet participants experienced a smoother transition than any facility of comparable size to date. Thanks in part to support from experienced users, the deployment team received zero patient safety notifications throughout the Go-Live period. The health care community also saw a faster return-to-normal than previous Waves.

DOD's next deployment, Wave Carson+, is slated to launch April 24. It will be the most geographically disparate, covering 11 states, and largest Wave to date with respect to the number of military treatment commands involved, 25 total.

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