Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
The Department of Defense will officially launch Military Health System Genesis at Munson Army Health Center April 24, and there are a few things patients need to know to prepare.
MHS Genesis is a DoD initiative to create a uniform patient information system across installations in the United States, outside the continental United States and theater deployments.
“MHS Genesis … provides enhanced, secure technology to manage (patient) health information,” according to the MAHC website. “MHS Genesis integrates inpatient and outpatient solutions that will connect medical and active-duty dental information across the continuum of care …and provide a single health record for service members, veterans and their families.”
About 50 percent of installations have already made the transition to MHS Genesis, and those that have not made the transition have a bridge system in place to still access patient information, said Chelsea Barto, MAHC training coordinator.
“It’s going to be a smoother process,” Barto said. “There’s going to be a different type of standardization to documentation, so if someone (transfers) to a new site, providers will be able to pull up their documentation from Fort Leavenworth and review it in the same manner that they would document it there.”
Along with MHS Genesis providing a singular health record for providers to access as service members change duty stations or veterans visit different Veterans Affairs hospitals, patients can also access all of their medical records, send messages back and forth with primary care providers, review lab and testing results, make appointments with any doctors at MAHC, and request prescription refills through the MHS Genesis Patient Portal.
Before the portal’s launch, patrons are asked to create a premiere DS logon through milConnect. To create a logon, visit https://milconnect.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect/.
Patients who already have a DS logon, must update it to a premiere account, which is free.
Additionally, patrons should make sure their DEERS information is up to date.
In an effort to make the portal a singular entity for all information, TRICARE Online and the Secure Messaging Systems will transition into MHS?Genesis April 24, which will be accessible at https://patientportal.mhsgenesis.health.mil.
Along with the patient portal, MHS Genesis will provide additional benefits for patients filling prescriptions at the MAHC Pharmacy.
“We expanded our formulary, which is the list of drugs we’re able to fill prescriptions for, and that’s an effort to standardize (medication lists) across the DoD,” said Maj. Gregory Hare, MAHC Pharmacy chief. “It helps create consistency from one site to the next.
“We used to say, ‘No, I’m sorry, we can’t fill this; it’s not on our formulary,’” he said.
“But, when we’re on the more standard formulary, as long as it’s covered there, we can fill it.”
Hare said some covered prescriptions may require additional paperwork. While the doctor will fill out and submit the necessary paperwork, patients can search for the prescription and learn more about it at https://www.express-scripts.com/frontend/open-enrollment/tricare/fst/#/.
“We’ve already started to fill prescriptions from the expanded formulary to prepare for that move to Genesis,” Hare said.
Hare said he asks for patience from MAHC patrons as staff adjusts to the new system.
“It’s a learning experience for everyone — for our doctors, our nurses, the pharmacy staff, lab, radiology. It’s going to take a little longer to process your scripts,” Hare said.
“There’s going to be some growing pains, but when you look at the other end, the formulary is bigger, your information is all in one place, the transfer is with you from one site with Genesis to the next and soon all DoD will be on this.”
While the portal will offer several services, Barto said it will come out in phases. When it launches on April 24, patients will have access to education information between services and will be able to message their primary care providers.
In the coming months, the ability to make appointments and request prescription refills and renewals will be available. There will also be a MHS Genesis Patient Portal app that patients can download to their phones.
Until the prescription request function is available on the portal, call 684-6059 to activate prescriptions or request refills.
For more information about MHS Genesis, visit https://munson.tricare.mil/Patient-Resources/MHS-GENESIS-NEW-Electronic-Health-Record-System.
MAHC will also post regular updates on the MAHC Facebook page about affected services while staff receive training.