PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. -- On Friday Aug. 9, key informatics and healthcare professionals from the California Medical Detachment participated in pre and post Go-Live sustainment training activities led by subject matter experts from the Defense Health Agency and Department of Defense Healthcare Management System Modernization.

"The training and information CAL MED received today is essential to help prepare them for Go-Live and sustainment thereafter of MHS GENESIS. The training team provided them the necessary skills to include the proper way to document issues or request enhancements in the tracking system used to support the system," said Michael McNichols, clinical systems integrator representing Regional Health Command-Pacific's Chief Medical Information Office, who was attending the sessions to provide feedback on the sustainment training received, and as a subject matter expert on the MHS GENESIS Patient Portal.

The purpose of the learning activity was to provide the CAL MED team with vital training that will assist them with pre and post Go-Live sustainment operations for these areas: sustainment training, JPSR/Remedy training (break-out session), issue resolution overview, and enterprise issue resolution training among others.

"They also received knowledge and were introduced to the much improved information portal designed to help provide them necessary information and training aids needed to help them sustain the product going forward," McNichols added.

MHS GENESIS launched initially at a collection of pilot sites including Fairchild Air Force Base, just outside Spokane, in February 2017 and then to Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor, Naval Hospital Bremerton, and Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, all in Washington State.

Following an optimization period at the initial sites, CAL MED is now in the first wave of military treatment facilities along with Travis and Mountain Home AFBs and Naval Air Station Lemoore to transition to it as well.

"A team of subject matter experts from Madigan will also be on the ground to support CAL MED during Go-Live, thus they are going to be in a much better position based on our experiences, not to mention MHS GENESIS is a system that continues to improve," McNichols said.

McNichols has played a key role in providing training and guidance to the clinical staff to help them support their beneficiaries as they transition between the legacy TRICARE Online Secure Messaging and the new MHS GENESIS Patient Portal.

"The key here is to help our patients become informed early," said McNichols. "We provide them with clear expectations and guidance. Furthermore, we want to help them to understand why it's better to establish their DS Logon needed to access the Patient Portal today, as opposed to waiting for Go-Live."

Similar to launches at previous pilot sites, as the staff learns the system, appointments will be preemptively limited as a precaution to ensure CAL MED staff have crucial post Go-Live, real-world usage of the system. This is mainly to ensure patient safety while also providing the highest quality care during the potential learning-curve for staff. During this time, access to the Patient Portal will be an important option for beneficiaries for non-emergent care issues.

CAL MED has approximately 9,000 enrolled patients and supports the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, U.S. Army Garrison 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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