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The U.S. Coast Guard announced this week that it has rolled out its MHS Genesis electronic health record system around the United States.

As reported by Lauren C. Williams at Federal Computer Week, Vice Admiral Paul Thomas told legislators during a House Transportation Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation hearing on Tuesday that the Coast Guard is the first service to hit such a milestone.  

“I’m happy to report that we have now gone live with our electronic medical records across the country,” said Thomas.  

WHY IT MATTERS  

The Coast Guard completed the go-live at 109 shore locations earlier this month, Williams reported.  

Migration is still necessary for the service’s afloat sickbays and medical and dental radiology system, she said.  

“Patients assigned to Atlantic Area clinics and sickbays can now use the MHS GENESIS Patient Portal to gain 24/7 access to personal health information documented within MHS GENESIS,” wrote Keisha Reynolds on the Coast Guard’s website on Friday.  

“The transition to this system has a steep learning curve and requires significant changes in business practices. It is anticipated that sites will return to pre-deployment service levels within two to three months, alternative drug for xanax ” Reynolds wrote.  

Meanwhile, as Williams noted, the Coast Guard has struggled with its infrastructure requirements.  

In 2019, the Government Accountability Office found that nearly half of the service’s shore infrastructure was past its service date.   

“Our recent and ongoing work on the Coast Guard’s IT infrastructure indicates that the Coast Guard could better apply certain decision processes as it manages investments in these systems,” said Heather MacLeod, acting director of Homeland Security and Justice, in prepared testimony.  

THE LARGER TREND

The Department of Defense’s implementation of the MHS Genesis EHR has been chugging along: In April, the agency announced its successful deployment in 12 more states.  

Despite hurdles presented by the pandemic, the project has continued to move forward – in marked contrast to parallel efforts at the Department of Veterans Affairs to modernize its own EHR system. That initiative has faced multiple setbacks.

Most recently, an Office of Inspector General report found that the scheduling component had carried several issues pre- and post-implementation.  

“These limitations reduced the system’s effectiveness and risked delays in patient care,” read the report.  

ON THE RECORD   

“We have struggled with IT acquisitions. And the reason for that is that we’ve not looked at them as operational platforms. That changed several years ago. We’ve now modernized how we acquire, how we set requirements, acquire and sustain our IT systems because they are operational assets just like a cutter or a ship,” said the Coast Guard’s Thomas in his House testimony.

Kat Jercich is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Twitter: @kjercich
Email: [email protected]
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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