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Data Solutions Team Completes Largest Data Standardization and Migration Operation in Defense Health Agency History

Image of Data Solutions Team Completes Largest Data Standardization and Migration Operation in Defense Health Agency History. Through Operation Helios, the Enterprise Intelligence and Data Solutions Program Management Office successfully moved two legacy data warehouses, MHS Data Repository (MDR) and MHS Mart (M2), along with over 1 petabyte of data into a centralized data analytics platform known as the MHS Information Platform or the MIP. The mass migration and modernization effort combined MDR and M2 data from on-premise Defense Information Systems Agency servers to the MIP for ease and security in validating, integrating, distributing and archiving DHA corporate health care data.

In support of the Defense Health Agency, Enterprise Intelligence and Data Solutions Program Management Office, known as EIDS PMO, under Program Executive Office Defense Healthcare Management Systems just concluded the largest data migration in the agency’s ten-year history.

Through Operation Helios, EIDS successfully moved two legacy data warehouses, MHS Data Repository—MDR—and MHS Mart—M2—along with over 1 petabyte of data into a centralized data analytics platform known as the MHS Information Platform or the MIP. One petabyte is the equivalent of one quadrillion bytes, or 1 million gigabytes.

The MDR data warehouse contains data about health care provided to MHS beneficiaries. M2, a relational database, contains DHA health care data and is heavily used in the management of military hospitals and clinics. M2 is used to perform a variety of analyses to provide MHS medical personnel data to assist in making health care decisions.

The mass migration and modernization effort combined MDR and M2 data from on-premise Defense Information Systems Agency servers to the MIP for ease and security in validating, integrating, distributing and archiving DHA corporate health care data.

Data encompassing decades worth of dispersed health care data from more than 35 data sources used to process 60 billion records annually was transferred to the cloud. The migration eliminated stringent data siloes, reduced DHA operational costs, improved the provider experience, increased automation, and improved performance.

Operation Helios, a strategic modernization project, creates a secure location and associated data catalog for improving speed of access, and MIP data architecture and management. The hybrid solution ensures providers have access to quality historical health care data to support patient insights, outcomes, and augmented encounters at the point of care.

Through this data pipeline and consolidated legacy storage, MIP users (e.g., data scientist, business analysts, clinicians) will have connection to more reliable and timely legacy health care data than ever before.

“I couldn’t be prouder of this accomplishment for the team and the Military Health System! Migrating 30 years of MHS data while maintaining legacy operations supporting patient care is a high-stakes mission ripe with complexities,” explained Chris Nichols, EIDS program manager. “The Operation Helios team’s achievement lays the cornerstone of DHA’s vision of data standardization and normalization and harnessing data to drive better clinical outcomes for beneficiaries.”

The project began in December 2020, with the enterprise requirements of merging multiple high-impact systems to the MIP. The success of this effort hinged directly on working with multiple program offices, more than 100 military hospitals and clinics, and leaders worldwide to develop a cohesive plan to eliminate or minimize disruption to over 20,000 users and the missions they serve. This effort required extensive collaboration across multiple time zones and developing training resources and classes to prepare the user community for the transition.

“Through this inaugural dedicated warehouse, the Operation Helios project team improved data management maturity, end user satisfaction, reduced data duplication and created a single, authoritative source of truth for consolidated MHS data,” stated Robin Russell, EIDS deputy program manager.

Located in the MIP, this data warehouse supports congressional reporting, enterprise-level data storage, retrieval, sharing, business intelligence and analysis. It also lays the foundation to implement future data analytics capabilities that provide diverse tools for big data analysis, natural language processing, visualizations, querying, and semantic analysis of diverse data sets.

“Completing the Operation Helios project is a significant step toward a longitudinal patient record driving the MHS to better patient outcomes, seamless integration and augmented leadership decision-making,” added Nichols.

“The team cut through significant hurdles and challenges of concern and doubt across the enterprise, its leaders and various stakeholders,” Nichols concluded.

Due to the success of this project, DHA leaders now have a framework and roadmap for future mass data migration efforts they can be confident in.

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Last Updated: December 06, 2023
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