Patients at the Presidio of Monterey can now better engage with their healthcare through the new MHS GENESIS Patient Portal.

The California Medical Detachment went live with the Department of Defense's new electronic health record MHS GENESIS on Sept. 7, becoming one of eight DoD military treatment facilities to use the unified medical system. Patients at the CAL MED clinic and the Maj. Gen. William H. Gourley VA-DoD Clinic can now use the Patient Portal to communicate with their providers with greater ease than before.

"It will allow them to make appointments, to renew prescriptions from the pharmacy, and to view some lab and x-ray results," said Lt. Col. Zack Solomon, the CAL MED commander. "So essentially, it gives them better freedom and autonomy over their own healthcare."

In addition, patients can securely message their care teams and view their medications, immunizations, and appointments, said Mike McNichols, the Patient Portal subject matter expert and clinical systems integrator at Regional Health Command-Pacific.

"With the use of their mobile devices, they will be able to communicate, review, and share their medical information with their care team anytime, anyplace, anywhere that's convenient for them," said McNichols, who encourages patients to make it easier to navigate to the Patient Portal by saving the site as a shortcut to their home screen or as a bookmark after completing their first logon.

The Patient Portal allows patients to better manage their families' healthcare.

"You can manage all of your dependents' care through the portal, so for those who are managing their children's healthcare, this is a great tool to help schedule appointments, message with their children's providers, see results, and validate and verify medications, allergies and immunizations for their children," said McNichols.

While medical information for patients 13 -- 17 years old isn't displayed on the Patient Portal due to state healthcare privacy laws, parents can still message their teenagers' providers and request appointments online.

While the staff learns the new system, the appointment direct booking function is temporarily turned off in the Patient Portal for CAL MED patients. However, patients can still message their care teams and request an appointment in the portal, or make appointments by calling 866-957-2256.

To sign into the Patient Portal (located at https://patientportal.mhsgenesis.health.mil), patients can use their Common Access Cards, their myPay account logons, or create DS Logon accounts. The ability to prove their identity remotely for new DS Logon accounts is being upgraded; however, patients have other options to still create them.

"The authentication system is being modernized and currently the ability to do online proofing for DS Logon has been disabled; however, patients who do not have CACs still have other options to establish their DS Logons if they don't already have one," said McNichols. "Their primary options to authenticate them is to use their email on file in DEERS, or for their sponsor to request a DS Logon for them."

If their sponsors are requesting accounts on their behalf, they should visit https://myaccess.dmdc.osd.mil/identitymanagement/, go to the profile tab, and under the relationships column select "Register DS Logon for my dependents." For more assistance with DS Logon accounts, call 800-538-9552.