FORT POLK, La. –
Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital is getting the word out to Soldiers, Families and beneficiaries about the new electronic health record and the MHS GENESIS Patient Portal. The Joint Readiness Center and Fort Polk will transition to MHS GENESIS on March 19 along with Fort Hood, Texas and Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The team at BJACH is pulling out all the stops to inform the public about the new electronic health record, how to access the patient portal and the possibility of temporary reduced access to care during the transition.
Lt. Col. Nicolle Deaton, patient portal champion for the MHS GENESIS transformation said she is trying to reach beneficiaries in a variety of ways.
“We’ve got posters throughout the hospital and outlying clinics. Our pharmacy is distributing informational materials. And our public affairs team has coordinated radio interviews, is conducting briefings, has a social media campaign and has created media releases to spread the word,” she said. “What we want our patients to know is that MHS GENESIS patient portal will replace the TRICARE Online patient portal, to register for a DS LOGON premium account and to prepare themselves for potential limited access to care during the initial weeks following our transition to MHS GENESIS.”
Deaton encourages patients to schedule routine care, refill prescriptions and complete lab or radiology appointments now. She also suggests getting hard copies of any referrals to network providers and visit myacess.dmdc.osd.mil to obtain a premium DS Logon.
Tonia Rowe, Soldier and Family Readiness Group leader for the 573rd Engineer Company, 46th Engineer Battalion invited the BJACH team to brief her organization about the MHS GENESIS transformation on Feb. 4 at Fort Polk Army Community Service.
“The SFRG is for information and resources,” she said. With the changes coming up I wanted Soldiers and their Families to be aware of the new electronic health record and to know what steps to take to access the MHS GENESIS patient portal.”
Rowe said knowledge is power and understanding your health care benefits is important to military Families.
BJACH had a MHS GENESIS patient portal informational table set up at the JRTC and Fort Polk Quality of Life conference on Feb. 10.
Francesca Parent, military spouse, said she is looking forward to MHS GENESIS and the new electronic health record.
“I have several health care needs to include injuries and a genetic disorder,” she said. “When we first arrived there was difficulty making appropriate diagnosis and I switched primary care managers multiple times.”
Parent said Danielle Craft, nurse practitioner at BJACH reviewed all of her medical records and was finally able to get her the help, referrals and the diagnosis she’d been seeking for her chronic pain and other health issues.
“I am so fortunate to have Ms. Craft as my PCM,” she said. “When I first became a military spouse, I had to retrieve 19 separate medical records. I think MHS GENESIS will alleviate that for our military children and spouses. As a spouse with health issues, I’ll never have to go through that again. My records will follow me and be available to future providers.”
Jamie Lynn Blum, Fort Polk military spouse of the year nominee, said she was familiar with MHS GENESIS because they had it at Joint Base Lewis McCord.
“MHS GENESIS streamlines the way we access our health care,” she said. “Recalling our experience at JBLM, I recommend everyone make routine appointments now before MHS GENESIS goes live March 19th. My advice is to plan ahead now so you aren’t one of many people trying to access a system as its being upgraded.”
Blum said she currently uses the TRICARE Online patient portal and that MHS GENESIS patient portal is very similar.
“When we went from TOL to MHS GENESIS patient portal at JBLM, it was pretty easy. They are very similar and easily accessible,” she said. “As far as concerns about security issues with an electronic health record, I think people put more information about themselves online and are at greater risk than by using an electronic health record like MHS GENESIS.”
In addition to formal briefings, social media and traditional media outlets, the BJACH team is trying to reach beneficiaries wherever they are to get the word out.
Jamie Chapman, military spouse, said the MHS GENESIS marketing efforts are hitting their mark.
“I had an amazing lady stop by my house on post,” she said. “I was dumbfounded at the amount of effort BJACH is making to ensure we have everything we need to know about MHS GENESIS.”
Chapman said she’s looking forward to having access to her medical records regardless of where she goes worldwide.
“Every time we move it takes forever for our records to arrive,” she said. “At one point, my kid’s records got mixed up and I think having one electronic health record that could potentially follow someone from cradle to grave will result in less mistakes and the providers will have all of your information at their fingertips."
Chapman said she understands there will be a decrease to access to care when MHS GENESIS initially goes live on March 19.
“I know there will be some issues initially getting this new system up and running,” she said. “But I’d rather go through it now and once MHS GENESIS is fully deployed, it will be a huge benefit to military families.”
Mony Lopez, MHS GENESIS site and communications point of contact for BJACH is excited for the transformation.
“MHS GENESIS allows the patients to partner in their health care,” he said. “Our team is doing everything we can to get our staff trained and ready while simultaneously keeping our beneficiaries informed about the upcoming transformation on March 19.”
Editor’s Note: To obtain a premium DS Logon for the MHS GENESIS patient portal, please visit myaccess.dmdc.osd.mil.