FORT POLK, La. –
The Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital conducted MHS GENESIS mock “go-live” exercises 9, 10 and 11 March at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, Louisiana.
MHS GENESIS is the new electronic health record for the Military Health System and will provide enhanced, secure technology to manage the health information of BJACH beneficiaries beginning on March 19.
According to health.mil MHS GENESIS will bring together inpatient and outpatient solutions that connect medical and dental information whether on the battlefield or at the home in a military hospital.
DeQuetta Sanders, counseling psychologist for the BJACH Behavioral Health Department is a MHS GENESIS super user and peer expert. Sanders facilitated the mock “go-live” exercise for her department.
“I have had extensive exposure and training with this new system for over a year now,” she said. “My job is to assist the end users, our clinic practitioners, by providing them with a means to utilize the system in the way in which it was designed.”
Sanders said all MHS GENESIS mock “go-live” exercises in every department of the hospital are facilitated by peer experts like her.
“The process for me began in December of 2020,” she said. “I started getting emails, information and training to become a super user and peer expert on MHS GENESIS.”
Sanders said the mock “go-live” training allowed staff to see what a day in the life of a behavioral health patient might looked like from the time they arrive in the clinic, through triage and assessment by a behavioral health technician to seeing their counselor, seeing their psychiatrist and then checking out of the clinic.
“Each member of our department has a specific role,” she said. “This exercise allowed our team to see how their role and what they do in the system affects other members of the team. Once we go live, I’ll be here to assist end users if they run into issues with MHS GENESIS.”
Sanders said she is confident in the system and her team's exposure to it during the mock “go-live” event has increased her confidence.
Emily Druhot, social worker at BJACH’s embedded behavioral health clinic is also a super user and peer expert for her department.
“We focused our mock “go-live” on our administrative staff so they could understand their role from beginning to end,” she said. “This allowed them to intake a patient, see how that patient flows through the system to the providers and checkout through them.”
Druhot said she is excited about MHS GENESIS.
“I’m excited and I think our patients will be excited to,” she said. “Beneficiaries won’t have multiple people asking them the same questions over and over. Clients get frustrated by this. MHS GENESIS is a data gathering system; once the question has been asked and answered it will always be in the system. The mock “go-live” demonstrated for our administrative staff how things populated in the patients' records, from when the behavioral health technicians start, and as each provider makes their notes. In MHS GENESIS the information flows from one provider or clinic to the next.”
Druhot said not everything from the legacy systems will transfer over to MHS GENESIS.
“We are going to have to start over and rebuild each record which will take some time as we first transition,” she said. “But with MHS GENESIS, once the information is their health record it will always be there and any provider, in any clinic, at any military treatment facility around the world will be able to see it.”
Sanders said MHS GENESIS is allowing BJACH to catch up technologically to private sector health systems.
“Medical systems have been operating with programs like this for a long time and we are finally catching up with the technology,” she said. “This will enable us to communicate more effectively with community and network providers. Service members will benefit from it because it will make access to care and their records easier. Soldiers deserve quality health care and this is one more tool for them to stay connected with the MTF and to stay on top of their health records throughout their military careers.”
Druhot said MHS GENESIS will create more efficiency in the hospital and allow providers more time to take care of their patients.
“With MHS GENESIS it will be easier for us,” she said. “Information will be maintained and flow through the system. This will allow us more time to focus on and help our patients during their appointments.”
In addition to mock “go-live” exercises, BJACH also conducted learning labs, additional training, sign-on and favorites fairs in preparation for “go live” March 19. The additional training will give end users the opportunity to verify access to the system based on their role and have all of their most commonly used icons and links set-up.
Lakobi Hopson, MHS GENESIS trainer for BJACH, said this week has been incredibly important for a successful transition to the new system.
“All the training and workshops conducted this week have been extremely important because it mirrors what we will be doing when we “go live” next week,” he said. “When users throughout our organization go to the sign-on fair, utilize the learning lab, set up their favorites and participate in the mock “go-live” activities, they gain insight into what they be doing once the system is fully implemented and throughout sustainment.”
Hopson said the workshops and additional training was designed to build a foundation, give individuals the chance to ask questions, and receive further assistance.
“I feel confident in our team’s ability to successfully transition to the new electronic health record on March 19,” he said. “For the past year, as we prepared for this it was almost like the users were looking at MHS GENESIS from behind a curtain. They could hear the rumblings and see the shadows while we were getting it set up. Now the curtain is being pulled back and they can finally see what has been casting the shadow. I think our informatics team has done a good job behind the scenes setting things up and, once the end users get the chance to start working with MHS GENESIS, they will see how easy it is to use and how it will positively impact the patient experience.”