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MHS GENESIS: Commanders Say Electronic Health Records Foster Improved Care

Image of An Army soldier and patient actor sports a mock impalement while providing simulated medical information to test out a new electronic medical record system designed to virtually document medical encounters in the field. The mock scenario was part of the U.S. Navy’s Rim of the Pacific exercise in 2018. (Photo: Ana Allen, U.S. Army). An Army soldier and patient actor sports a mock impalement while providing simulated medical information to test out a new electronic medical record system designed to virtually document medical encounters in the field. The mock scenario was part of the U.S. Navy’s Rim of the Pacific exercise in 2018. (Photo: Ana Allen, U.S. Army)

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The Defense Health Agency recently deployed its new electronic health record system, MHS GENESIS, to 14 additional military hospitals and clinics across five states. 

As a growing number of medical commands implement the system, providers from across the Military Health System are starting to see the benefits of working with a single platform that consolidates data and records for all beneficiaries and facilities. 

“The new electronic health record allows for increased efficiency in direct patient care through streamlining numerous systems into a single system of record that is cloud-based to improve clinical care within and across organizations, locations and communities of care,” explained Army Brig. Gen. Clinton Murray, commanding general, Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. BAMC deployed the new EHR in Jan. 2022. 

The new EHR system is bringing the new technology into the Military Health System and improving the capability of health care workers at every level. 

“The transition to MHS GENESIS allows the nurses and providers real-time operability that is provided all throughout the civilian community,” added Air Force Col. Linda Hageman, 99th Medical Group deputy commander at the Mike O'Callaghan Federal Hospital at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. 

The hospital at Nellis underwent its “Go-Live” implementation of MHS GENESIS in Sept. 2020, during a peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hageman said the system has improved patient care and benefited healthcare providers by allowing for a more standardized workflow and a secure exchange of information.  

Hageman said her team has learned many lessons since their initial “Go Live” implementation and subsequent system block upgrades.  Each additional block upgrade added new and improved features to enhance system functionality, and to benefit the patient.  

As more teams adopt MHS GENESIS, the Defense Health Agency is fostering a mentorship program that helps to spread the expertise of the early adopters and train new commands that are just starting the implementation on their local level. It’s called the “Pay-it-Forward program,” Hageman explained.  

“This is where staff trained during prior Go-Live implementations augment facilities when another facility implements the system. These staff utilize their experience and lessons learned to train new staff, creating a continuous learner model,” Hageman said. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, MHS GENESIS has been instrumental in helping patients with the vaccination process. The system’s Mass Vax Tool feature has streamlined the ability to schedule patients for COVID-19 vaccines in accordance with the Department of Defense’s COVID-19 policies for prioritizing various populations based on readiness demands. 

Additionally, the Mass Vax Tool allows the hospital’s staff to complete the Defense Health Agency Form 207 – “COVID-19 VACCINE SCREENING AND IMMUNIZATION DOCUMENTATION” – in real time within the patient record. That reduces documentation time by 50% and enhances the patient–provider experience, according to Hageman.  

Expanding the cloud-based record system is helping to promote coordination between local medical commands, their higher headquarters and other key players like the Cerner Corporation, which has developed the technology underpinning the EHR system. 

“There was great teamwork between Brooke Army Medical Center, the 59th Medical Wing, the Defense Health Agency, Cerner and many other organizations to ensure the deployment was well supported with subject matter experts to maximize the success of MHS GENESIS going live, ” added Murray. 

Throughout the enterprise, MHS GENESIS currently provides inpatient and outpatient solutions at 66 medical commands with more military hospitals and clinics being added every few months. This deployment of the new EHR has increased efficiencies for patients and healthcare providers, provide better outcomes, and improved the overall beneficiary experience. 

To learn more about MHS GENESIS, the new electronic health record visit: www.health.mil/MHSGenesis.


Beneficiaries who are experiencing issues with their records or information in the MHS GENESIS Patient Portal can submit an Enterprise Service Desk ticket by calling: 1-800-600-9332. For issues logging onto the system, contact the Defense Manpower Data Center at 1-800-538-9552.

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