Story by Riley Eversull, Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune
With the New Year comes a new electronic health record for Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune beneficiaries. On March 19, 2022, NMCCL will officially transition to using MHS GENESIS, the Military Health System’s new structure for electronic health records, or EHR, for service members, retirees, and their families.
MHS GENESIS will become the standard for medical facilities serving the Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs’ health care facilities. According to U.S. Navy Lieutenant Jeremy Moore, MHS GENESIS means easier navigation for beneficiaries through the military health care system.
“The current way our system works is with three different software systems looking up patient data, but MHS GENESIS is one stop,” said Moore, the lead MHS GENESIS training coordinator for NMCCL. “There will be no more calling a different medical facility to have them send something over; everything in a patient’s health care record will be in one place for them.”
While the launch date for MHS GENESIS is two months away, the rollout process has taken around a year. Most recently, the MHS GENESIS Transition Team has been training approximately 3,800 personnel to fill various roles. MHS GENESIS won’t launch solely at NMCCL; the system will also be deployed at medical sites throughout Camp Lejeune, II MEF, and MARSOC.
As Moore explains, training on the new EHR can be arduous.
“In military medicine, we often have dual roles. A corpsman, for example, is not just a front desk clerk; they are also taking vitals, interviewing the patient, giving them medication or cleaning a wound,” Moore said. “We have to ensure that corpsmen are trained in MHS GENESIS to support their dual roles and activities whether at the front desk or providing patient care.”
U.S. Navy Commander Jessica Pipkin says while training on the new EHR may seem daunting for employees, proper training is vital for implementing GENESIS.
“Prior to training, I got glimpses into what MHS GENESIS would look like, and I was thinking, ‘This is so different,’” said Pipkin, who serves as the GENESIS site point of contact for Camp Lejeune. “I realized that I was going to have a learning curve myself; this is completely different from what we have now.”
Pipkin describes MHS GENESIS as looking similar to an iPhone screen with apps that medical personnel will be able to organize to their user preference.
“There is a lot of hard work on the transition and training up front, but [MHS GENESIS] is the thing we’ve been waiting on; an all-encompassing health record will finally be here,” Pipkin said. “For staff, we are giving them the tools needed to best prepare them for the transition so it will not be harder for them when the time comes to go live.”
Pipkin explains that NMCCL along with Camp Lejeune, II MEF, and MARSOC are currently in the “validation phase” meaning teams are deploying hardware such as printers and scanners to medical areas. Lejeune sites are also in “end-user training” which is instruction for those who interact with patients daily such as front-desk staff or corpsmen.
A significant change for staff means a significant change for patients. The TRICARE Online Patient Portal will be replaced by the new MHS GENESIS Patient Portal. As with any change, the MHS GENESIS Transition Team is predicting challenges, but they hope for beneficiaries’ understanding.
“The end result for patients is that there may be some delays. Instead of appointments taking 20 minutes, they may take 30-35 minutes, but this should not last long,” Moore said. “It’s going to take a few weeks for staff to get familiar and have proper access. Once everyone gets comfortable, there will be better patient interaction and more patient interaction.”
Camp Lejeune medical sites including NMCCL will formally launch MHS GENESIS on March 19, 2022. Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point will also deploy MHS GENESIS that same day.
For more information on the MHS GENESIS rollout and the impact for patients, visit: https://www.health.mil/Military-Health-Topics/MHS-Transformation/MHS-GENESIS.