By Joseph Jones (Madigan Army Medical Center)December 10, 2019
MADIGAN ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. -- Brig. Gen. Jeffrey J. Johnson, the deputy chief of staff for support (G-1/4/6), Office of The Surgeon General and U.S. Army Medical Command visited Madigan Army Medical Center for a tour of the facility and a set of productive talks with leadership including Madigan Commander Col. Thomas Bundt on Dec. 3 and 4.
"I had a great visit here at Madigan," said Johnson.
The visit focused on the experience of care at Madigan, the deployment of MHS GENESIS, the Department of Defense's unified electronic health record, and the philosophy of sharing information, technology and resources to support a medically ready force as more military treatment facilities transition to the new EHR.
MHS GENESIS provides a single, integrated medical and dental record for inpatient and outpatient encounters across the Military Health System. Madigan has been instrumental in aiding and supporting the Defense Health Agency in its understanding of how the system impacts the end user and patients.
A demonstration of MHS GENESIS simulating a patient's journey through inpatient and outpatient encounters was performed for Johnson. This patient-journey scenario provided the opportunity for super users who were involved in the training and implementation of the EHR to demonstrate its capabilities.
The second day of the tour focused specifically on MHS GENESIS and its implementation at Madigan in a variety of operations such as the Core Lab, which was the first totally automated lab in the DoD, the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), the Main Outpatient Pharmacy and the Department of Emergency Medicine.
"Really being able to understand at a user-level how MHS GENESIS is impacting patient care primarily, workflows, and full system process changes, but just as importantly, how the staff here faced that process in order to be able to continue to execute their duties and forecast what's going to happen next. That's been incredibly valuable to me to be able to get that perspective during this visit," said Johnson.
During the tour, military and civilian clinicians highlighted the care they provide to patients in their respective clinics and how MHS GENESIS has had meaningful impacts on patient care.
Madigan was one of the first military treatment facilities to begin using MHS GENESIS as a pilot site. In 2017, it joined Fairchild Air Force Base, Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor, and Naval Hospital Bremerton, all in Washington State, in launching the new system.
"Collaboration, consultation and relationships is the ongoing philosophy," said Bundt. "It's proven not just effective, but successful beyond my expectations or projections," said Bundt, who met with Johnson throughout his visit.
In September 2019, California Medical Detachment at the U.S. Army Garrison Presidio of Monterey, Calif., which is also part of Madigan, was in the first wave of MTFs, along with Travis and Mountain Home Air Force Bases and Naval Air Station Lemoore, to transition to the new EHR.
"The leadership on the ground, the individual departments and all of the dedicated staff at Madigan, CAL MED and at Travis AFB, worked with their counterparts to ensure everyone was equally successful during their respective Go-lives through collaborative support and sharing of information," added Bundt.
Madigan's role in the adoption and implementation of MHS GENESIS has been significant. Most notably, it has been both heavily involved in optimizing a commercial system for military use and ensuring success for Wave 1 sites that went live in 2019.
Once fully deployed across all military treatment facilities, MHS GENESIS will have the ability to enable all military branches to use a single electronic health record. At that point, patients' records will be accessible at any MTF regardless of branch or location.
Madigan has hosted many visitors and performed numerous demonstrations to provide a first-hand view of the DoD's new EHR, and will continue to help inform on its capabilities through innovation and joint solution sets.
"The example we set with Madigan was primarily based on a revolutionary, phased approach to IT implementation as a whole. That required counsel, collaboration and mutual mission set understanding of the significant challenges of this type of fielding," said Bundt.
"This implementation of MHS GENESIS was based on what we discovered worked and was passed as knowledge on to future wave sites and helped them be tremendously successful," Bundt added. "Paying it forward will ensure that each new site can leverage the previous Go-live site's insight and lessons until it's a self-sustaining model, not just with Madigan, but with all future sites being able to support future waves as well."