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Fairchild pilots $4.3 billion DOD electronic health record upgrade

Lt. Gen. Mark Ediger, U.S. Air Force surgeon general, offers thanks and congratulations for the dedication and efforts of the 92nd Medical Group during a MHS Genesis "go-live" recognition ceremony Feb. 15, 2017, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. Fairchild was the pilot base for the development and implementation of the new, Department of Defense wide new health system. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ryan Lackey)

Lt. Gen. Mark Ediger, U.S. Air Force surgeon general, offers thanks and congratulations for the dedication and efforts of the 92nd Medical Group during a MHS Genesis "go-live" recognition ceremony Feb. 15, 2017, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. Fairchild was the pilot base for the development and implementation of the new, Department of Defense wide new health system. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Ryan Lackey)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. (AFNS) -- The 92nd Medical Group hosted a recognition ceremony live on social media Feb. 15, 2017, to celebrate the launch of the Defense Department’s new integrated electronic health record system, Medical Health System GENESIS. 

The 92nd MDG was selected as the first DOD medical clinic to launch this $4.3 billion system and has been successfully using the program since Feb. 7.

“I can’t think of anywhere better for it to all begin,” said Lt. Gen. Mark Ediger, the Air Force Surgeon General. “Thank you for being on the leading edge of a new advancement. It took an extraordinary effort across the wing to implement this.”

MHS GENESIS is a DOD-wide electronic health record and management system purchased to keep pace with medical advances and innovations in technology.

This system combines health records from base primary care providers, pharmacy, laboratory, immunization and dental clinics all on one network. It will also enable the base to share information with civilian and Veterans Affairs providers.

MHS GENESIS features a secure patient-provider portal to give beneficiaries access to previous visit information, discharge instructions, allow patients to schedule or cancel appointments and send messages directly to their provider.

Prior to the “go-live” ceremony, 92nd MDG staff members helped develop and execute 14 patient scenarios, spanning 15 different clinical departments, to test the capabilities of the program and ensure patient safety is not compromised.

Fairchild AFB has 48 “super-users,” who are fully involved in the training and implementation of MHS GENESIS, and who will be able to provide support throughout the transition.

MHS GENESIS will affect approximately 11,000 service members, dependents and retirees who depend on the Fairchild clinic, as well as 27,000 eligible beneficiaries in the local area, said Col. Meg Carey, the 92nd MDG commander.

Fairchild AFB is the first of four locations in the northwest selected to launch the new system. Future operational sites are scheduled to be Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Naval Base Kitsap and Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Implementation at NASWI is anticipated as early as June 2017.

“The Pacific Northwest has a tradition of being innovative,” said Stacy Cummings, the Defense Healthcare Management Systems program executive officer. “We are basing our scheduled rollouts on our experiences and lessons learned here. We remain on track for full deployment by 2022.”

Fairchild’s involvement paves the way for the rest of the DOD to switch to this new system, which will impact approximately 9.4 million eligible beneficiaries worldwide.