Government and Regulations

DoD Rolls Out EHR Genesis at Fairchild Air Force Base

New electronic health record system is built to foster teamwork and increase patient access to medical records.


 

After years of preparation, a new electronic health record (EHR) system is now live at Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington. According to DoD officials, the system remains on schedule for the next step in the rollout later this year and the eventual completion in 2022. “This is just the first step in implementing what will be the largest integrated inpatient and outpatient electronic health record in the United States,” said VADM Raquel Bono, director of the Defense Health Agency.

Home to the 92nd Medical Group, Fairchild has a number of outpatient clinics and a pharmacy. According to Col Margaret Carey, the 92nd Medical Group commander, Genesis is being used by all the medical personnel at Fairchild.

For many years, the VA and DoD discussed possibly developing a single EHR across both systems before rejecting the idea for being too costly and complicated. Instead the 2 agencies looked to make their systems interoperable and to improve data sharing across the systems. The 2 agencies developed the Joint Legacy Viewer system to improve data sharing. The Joint Legacy Viewer is a clinical application that provides an integrated, read-only display of health data from DoD, VA, private sector partners, and the current military medical record system in a common data viewer.

The DoD originally awarded the $4.3 billion contract to Leidos in 2014 to develop Genesis, but the system was delayed to address cyber-security concerns. The concerns also caused DoD to reduce a larger rollout to focus initially on Fairchild.

“I can report firsthand from the command center that everything is going as expected,” reported Stacy Cummings, program executive officer for Defense Healthcare Management Systems. “Initial feedback from [health care] providers is positive.”

According to Dr. Paul Cordts, director, functional champion for the MHS at the Defense Health Agency, the biggest change that Genesis will bring is offering open medical notes to patients to “empower our patients to know what medical data are in the medical records and to use that data to improve their health and their health care over time.” Patients will be able to access data through a patient portal.

“This EHR is built to enable a team approach to providing health services to patients,” said U.S. Air Force Surgeon General Lt Gen Mark Ediger, MD. “In medicine today we really leverage a number of different skill sets on a health care team… That’s why in the Air Force we are piloting the addition of a health coaching capability here at Fairchild to leverage capabilities that are in MHS, so that health coaches can interact with patients between visits to work on things like tobacco cessation and weight loss, exercise plans and things of that nature.”

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