Defense Department halts Cerner EHR rollout to focus on COVID-19 

The Department of Defense is pressing pause on the next wave of its Cerner EHR rollout due to concerns stemming from COVID-19, according to a March 31 FCW report. 

Defense Healthcare Management Systems chose to suspend the EHR go-live, which was scheduled for June, because the activities and training required during the deployment would cause caregivers to shift their focus from the coronavirus pandemic. 

The second wave of the go-live was planned for 25 sites this summer; the department launched the EHR, dubbed MHS Genesis, at four sites in California and Idaho in September 2019. The rollout came more than two years after the Defense Department's initial implementation attempt in February 2017, which was ultimately delayed due to clinician reports of workflow issues such as problems with lab reports. 

Bill Tinston, who oversees the MHS Genesis deployment across the Military Health System, told congressional leaders about the go-live suspension in a March 26 email, according to the report. He also added that the department is now planning to create a dashboard within the EHR that will allow medical teams to view logistics, medical demand and disease surveillance for COVID-19. The agency is also planning to add additional telehealth and virtual capabilities to the EHR. 

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