DHA Beefing up Infrastructure Ahead of MHS Genesis

Published: August 02, 2018

DHAElectronic Health RecordHealth IT

The Defense Health Agency (DHA) is upgrading infrastructure in advance of MHS Genesis implementations.

MHS Genesis is the $4.3B program to replace DoD’s aging EHR (AHLTA and CHCS) with a state-of-the-art commercial system (Cerner’s Millennium EHR) to improve usability, interoperability and cost savings. Completion is expected by 2022. Leidos is leading implementation efforts. DOD asked for a $1.2B increase in contract ceiling in July. 

In preparation for installing MHS Genesis at Defense Medical Treatment Facilities (MTFs), DHA is implementing a standard baseline platform and improving network infrastructure under the Desktop to Data Center (D2D) baseline program. D2D will standardize the IT infrastructure prior to deployment of MHS Genesis, to include migrating workstation kiosks, servers, clinical systems and medical devices. The D2D program will provide a common desktop, a single security architecture, a consolidated helpdesk and will transition other locally-provided IT functions to central services provided by DHA. D2D also involves moving each hospital and clinic to a new shared, purpose-built virtual private network (VPN) called the Medical Community of Interest (Med-COI). Med-COI will provide a consolidated and dedicated platform for the MHS’ medical IT network.

Once the transition to D2D and Med-COI are completed, the goal is for a clinician to be able to insert his or her credentials anywhere in the world and see the exact same desktop, same applications, and be able to view patient records that originated in a DoD facility, a Veterans Affairs facility, or even a private-sector facility which will connect with state and local health information exchanges.

The Med-COI transition began in 2017 with the goal of completion in 2020. “Up to 20 sites will be in process at any one point in time in the next two years,” Tom Hines, Med-COI expert at Defense Health Agency, told Military Health in an interview. D2D and Med-COI affect 155 MTF sites and nearly 600 other lines of business.

DHA is also using the D2D transition to accomplish other DoD IT modernization priorities, such as migrating computers to Windows 10 and moving to the Defense Enterprise Email service.