Tinker medical group transitioning to new electronic health record

  • Published
  • 72nd Medical Group

The 72nd Medical Group will transition to an electronic health record, MHS Genesis, on March 19, 2022, and officials are urging beneficiaries to get care now and to be patient over the next few months.

 “As with any new system, there will be a learning period for our staff and patients,” said Col. Neil Horner, 72nd MDG commander. “We want to ensure that all of our beneficiaries are aware of this and take steps now to help with the transition.”

The Department of Defense first rolled out its MHS Genesis pilot at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington, in 2017. It is being deployed throughout the country and overseas via 23 total “waves,” with each targeting a specific region over one year.  The transition to the new system should be complete across the DOD in 2023.  

While the 72nd MDG has been preparing for the transition, Horner said they do anticipate decreases in patient access and increased waiting times at the pharmacy while the medical staff learn the EHR function and new process workflows in the actual patient care environment.

“We’re asking for patience from our customers,” he said. “Think of this as our staff learning to communicate in a new language. It will take additional time and we want to make sure everything is in good order and working properly. Patient safety is the highest priority ... if we need to go slower to make sure we get it right in the new system, that is exactly what we will do.”

Once fully deployed, MHS Genesis will provide a single health record for service members, veterans and their families, and be a single integrated inpatient and outpatient solution that consolidates medical and dental information across the continuum of care.

“It will improve communication not only across the military clinics but also across the Veterans Affairs Health Systems and civilian providers,” Horner said.

He added that MHS Genesis shares a common platform with many civilian sector EHRs and due to its scope of use the program allows for more speedy and responsive EHR updates, upgrades and enhancements.

Though the system won’t go live at Tinker for a few months, Horner said the 72nd MDG has been preparing and training for the new system for more than a year.

“This is certainly a big lift for the 72nd MDG,” he said. “We have used a combination of tactics ranging from solution calls and weekly synchronization meetings to role-based training, engagement with the enterprise team, awareness fairs and internal and external communication. Acclimating to the new EHR has taken a great deal of training, and all MHS Genesis users have 40 to 120 hours of computer-based training followed by in-person instruction depending on their specific user role.”

For more information about MHS Genesis, visit www.health.mil/MHSGENESIS.