Military medical officials say collaboration is key to success of new health records system
Guy Kiyokawa, deputy director for the Defense Health Agency (far right) is joined by (from left to right) Brig. Gen. Robert Miller, Air Force Medical Operations Agency; Dr. Michael P. Malanoski, executive director for the Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery; and Brig. Gen. John Cho, the deputy chief of staff for Support, United States Army Medical Command at the Defense Health Information Technology Symposium (DHITS) in Orlando, Florida on Aug. 2, 2016. The discussion focused on the implementation of the new electronic health record, MHS GENESIS, and how all the services and DHA will need to work together to make it successful.
THe Military Health System’s (MHS) electronic health records-keeping system, MHS GENESIS, will improve health and health care across MHS by connecting all medical and dental information, no matter where warfighters and their families are. A successful rollout of the enhanced information technology system will depend on collaboration among the Defense Health Agency (DHA) and the services.
“There’s a tremendous opportunity ahead,” said Guy Kiyokawa, deputy director for DHA, while delivering the keynote at the Defense Health Information Technology Symposium (DHITS) in Orlando, Florida. “You’re all part of that opportunity.”
“It’s not just about the electronic health record and the information technology infrastructure,” said Kiyokawa. “It’s about combat casualty care requirements. It’s about telehealth. It’s about telemedicine. It’s about rehabilitative medicine in support of our service members and their families.”
Kiyokawa shared the stage with medical leaders from the Army, Navy and Air Force in front of approximately 1,500 attendees to the annual defense information technology conference. Each speaker stressed the health care advancements the new system will bring while echoing Kiyokawa’s call to work together.
“We need to make sure our Air Force medics have all the tools they need to do their jobs,” said Brig. Gen. Robert Miller from Air Force Medical Operations Agency. “It means a lot to have a functional, deployable electronic health record … that starts with that point of injury, through the air evacuation process to whatever [level] of care that patient needs. This part (health information technology) is critical to that mission.”
Brig. Gen. John Cho, deputy chief of staff for support[GM1] with the [GM2] [GM3] Army’s Medical Command, talked about how the Army will gather and use data effectively. That means using MHS GENESIS, as well as systems used by medics on the battlefield. “To me it’s more than just the hardware and software; it’s the integration of both. It is not in how we collect data, but how we use it,” he said.
“Our focus is on the warfighter,” Cho said. “We leverage health IT to enhance expeditionary medicine.”
Dr. Michael P. Malanoski, the executive director for the Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, said they are looking at the relationships among the services and DHA, as well as those among the medical professionals and the information technology community, and between headquarters and the field. He encouraged DHITS attendees, from the clinical and information technology sides of the house, to talk to each other to find system improvements.
“We will sink or swim together,” said Malanoski. “Unless each side understands what the other does, we will not be successful.”
DHITS brings together military health IT professionals from across the country to discuss challenges and opportunities facing their community. Tuesday was the opening day of presentations.