MHS: DHA Director outlines how MHS standardization bolsters reform

“As Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place outlined his vision for his second year as director of the Defense Health Agency on a call with reporters from the Defense Writer’s Group on Thursday, Oct. 8, he emphasized the common goal shared across the Department of Defense: provide the best clinical outcomes for the 9.6 million beneficiaries within the Military Health System.”

“Much of the way the general is seeking to achieve that aim is through the standardization of technology and processes within the MHS. He described the roll out of the electronic health record known as MHS GENESIS as a key aspect to improving the delivery of quality care regardless of location for both providers and patients.”

“’That standardization leads to similar expectation of care from our patients as they go from place to place because everything is the same,’ Place said. ‘It also means as you transition from the DoD to becoming a veteran, the same system and the same methodology would be used in a DoD facility or Veterans Administration facility.’”

“The MHS is relying on the use of health information technology to advance and streamline care for patients both locally and nationally. Place mentioned the joint health information exchange which securely connects TRICARE contract partners and select federal and private sector partners to share and seamlessly transfer patient information. ‘So that no matter where our patients get care, the depth and breadth of the entirety of their medical problems can be viewed by each practitioner who’s participating in their care,’ said Place. ‘Ultimately this health information technology is a tool that is in support of optimizing the clinical outcomes of our beneficiaries.’”

“Standardization improves outcomes, whether clinical outcomes or administrative outcomes, said Place. The MHS plans to utilize health information technology as well other forms of emerging technology such as voice recognition technology for transcription, natural language processing for quick data sort and review and even artificial intelligence in aiding physician review. Place cited imaging as an example, such as X-rays, CT, MRI and ultrasound, and the incorporation of AI protocols to do first pass reviews or aid the radiologists who interpret them. ‘In some cases if they can demonstrate that they do better than humans, do we transition some of that reading over to the computer systems so that we can improve both the speed and accuracy of the reading of those imaging systems?’ he said. ‘That is the direction we are going … The whole driver though is improved outcomes…’” Read the full article here.

Source: DHA Director outlines how MHS standardization bolsters reform – October 15, 2020. Military Health System.

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