LA MESA VILLAGE COMMUNITY CENTER, Monterey, Calif. -- On Aug. 5, in one of a series of town hall meetings held by U.S. Army Garrison Presidio of Monterey, California Medical Detachment Commander Lt. Col. Zack Solomon spoke at a town hall at La Mesa Village Community Center in Monterey, Calif., about the upcoming transition to MHS GENESIS, the Department of Defense's new electronic health record.

"CAL MED has be given an amazing honor and responsibility as one of the treatment facilities chosen for the first wave of MHS GENESIS deployments," said Solomon prior to speaking to the audience. "It's really important to get out and engage the community about the transition and its bigger impact on the Military Health System, improving medical readiness and how we provide care for our service members, veterans, and their families."

The presentation by Solomon at the La Mesa Town Hall, which was attended by a diverse audience of the Presidio of Monterey military community, was intended to inform members of CAL MED's patient population about the Sept. 7 "Go-live" date, anticipated changes, benefits of the new system, and also the MHS GENESIS Patient Portal, which will replace the systems patients currently use, like TOL Secure Messaging, to communicate with their care team and view their health information.

"The Patient Portal is going to allow our patients to renew prescriptions, manage appointments, view notes from visits and certain lab results all in one unified interface, when and where it's convenient for them. It's available on your computer, tablet or smartphone. The Patient Portal replaces TRICARE Online Secure Messaging, and RelayHealth, while you receive care at CAL MED after September 7, 2019," Solomon told the audience.

The MHS GENESIS Patient Portal is a secure website providing 24/7 access to health information, including the ability for patients to exchange messages with their care team. In addition to the electronic health record component, the Patient Portal initially launched at Fairchild Air Force Base in February 2017 and later throughout the Pacific Northwest, including Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor, Naval Hospital Bremerton, and on October 21, 2017 at Madigan Army Medical Center-- which CAL MED falls under.

"We are building on the experiences of previous implementation sites like Madigan, which gives us a huge advantage in tailoring our approach to our unique patient population. MHS GENESIS provides a pathway to maintaining a medically ready force like never before, and we're proud to be a part of MHS history," Solomon stated after the event.

The Department of Defense has a multi-year plan for all military treatment facilities to seamlessly transition to MHS GENESIS. CAL MED is in the first wave of military treatment facilities along with Travis and Mountain Home Air Force Bases and Naval Air Station Lemoore to transition to it.

"The important thing we really want to emphasize to patients is that MHS GENESIS and the Patient Portal are enhanced, secure technology platforms designed to empower patients with a vital role in managing their health and healthcare," said Solomon. "We also want to convey the bigger-picture -- this is a game-changer in respect to medical readiness and patient care throughout a service member's career and even into retirement."

CAL MED has approximately 9,000 enrolled patients and supports the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, USAG Presidio of Monterey, the Naval Postgraduate School, Naval Support Activity Monterey, the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center, and U.S. Coast Guard Station Monterey.

CAL MED also operates the Major General William H. Gourley VA-DoD Outpatient Clinic in Marina, Calif., which opened in June 2017. The clinic replaced the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System's existing clinic to meet the growing healthcare need for veterans in the region. It is only the second fully integrated VA-DoD facility in the nation.

For more information on CAL MED's transition to MHS GENESIS, visit: https://www.calmed.health.mil/patients/mhs-genesis.aspx

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