If you’ve ever transferred between military treatment facilities (MTFs), you know how frustrating it can be reciting your complete medical history over and over.
Before February of this year, MTFs did not have a computer system that allowed them to share medical and dental records easily. It was a very frustrating process for medical professionals and patients alike. You could find yourself repeating your information from a first responder to a nurse and then again to a doctor. If you got sent to another clinic, you might repeat that information yet again.
Luckily, a new electronic health records system, known as MHS GENESIS, was introduced this year.
What is the MHS GENESIS system?
MHS GENESIS is the new electronic health records system that will keep track of health information for the Military Health System (MHS) through secure technology.
It is an integrated medical and dental electronic health record that will be able to give medical professionals an electronic record of your health information. Basically, it is an electronic copy of all your medical and dental information.
It will eventually be accessible to all medical professionals at any military treatment facility. With MHS GENESIS, you will no longer need to recite your medial history to your new doctor every time you PCS. You also won’t need to pick up your medical records or dental records before you move. Your provider will be able to see your family’s entire medical and dental history in one place.
MHS GENESIS will also mean less paperwork for providers and patients. You won’t have to fill out a medical history form each time you see a new military doctor or dentist. MHS GENESIS will have information stored on all care that has been provided for you. This also means that there will be less of a chance for inaccurate information given or received. You will no longer need to try to remember the dates of previous surgeries or vaccines for example.
More than 800 subject matter experts came together to create MHS GENESIS. This includes medical professionals such as doctors and nurses as well as computer system professionals such as information technologists. MHS GENESIS will replace all of the systems that are currently used; that’s more than 50 systems that will be narrowed down to one single system. This includes replacing DoD health care systems such as: AHLTA, Composite Health Care System, inpatient, and parts of the Theater Medical Information Program-Joint.
More than 9.4 million Department of Defense beneficiaries and about 205,000 Military Health System professionals around the world will benefit from using MHS GENESIS.
MHS GENESIS Patient Portal
The MHS GENESIS Patient Portal launched in February. It is a secure website that provides access for you and health care providers to your medical information. Through the MHS GENESIS Patient Portal you can:
- Review your current health information
- Schedule medical and dental appointments for both yourself and your dependents
- Request prescription renewals
- Send and receive secure messages with your doctor or nurse
- Review medical notes and certain lab and test results
- Complete the pre-visit dental health history questionnaire
- View, download or print health data
- Receive alerts from the MHS GENESIS Patient Portal to schedule wellness exams
When is MHS GENESIS available?
MHS GENESIS is being rolled out in waves, starting with several small military treatment facilities in the Pacific Northwest. In February the system launched at Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington.
“We are following a path of going from our smallest to our largest deployment, so we can again take the lessons learned from each deployment so we can make the next deployment even more successful, efficient, and streamlined,”
said Stacy Cummings, the program executive officer for the Program Executive Office, Defense Healthcare Management Systems.
MHS GENESIS was scheduled to go live at Naval Hospital Oak Harbor in May; Naval Hospital Bremerton in June; and Madigan Army Medical Center in July, but at the time of writing this article there have been no updates given.
Those that have used the system have said it is a flexible and user-friendly system. The plan is to have MHS GENESIS in place in all MTFs by 2022. This will connect 55 hospitals and more than 350 clinics worldwide. They will announce when each location will go live as that time approaches.
You can access the MHS GENESIS Patient Portal here once it is available to you.
Veterans Affairs Embraces MHS GENESIS
In June Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin announced that the VA would be adopting the same electronic health records system, MHS GENESIS. This will be great for service members that transition out of the military and receive medical care through the VA.