How DOD changed its training strategy before upcoming Cerner rollout: 4 notes

As the Department of Defense gears up to deploy its new Cerner-based EHR at four more facilities in September, the agency has undertaken three main changes to ensure a smooth transition after the issues it experienced during the first rollout in 2017, Nextgov reports.

DOD began its initial transition to the Cerner system, called MHS Genesis, at four pilot locations in February 2017. However, the agency paused the project in January 2018 due to clinician reports of workflow problems, including issues with lab report requests.

Now, with 11 more rollouts planned between September and June 2020, William Tinston, a program executive officer with the Defense Healthcare Management System, said DOD has altered three main areas of deployment to better support the go-lives than in 2017.

Four notes:

1. DOD's new training strategy uses "peer experts" to help colleagues train each other on their new positions rather than having appointed super users.

2. The agency is also employing a new change management model, according to Maj. Gen. Lee Payne, assistant director for combat support for DHA and MHS Genesis functional champion.

"…It's really important to understand your as-is workflows and your to-be workflows," he said, Nextgov reports. "So, we have teams that go out and educate the staff on, 'Here's what your current workflow is,' and then they come back months later and say, 'Here's your to-be workflow,' and help them make that transition from as-is to to-be. That's very, very important."

3. The implementation team updated its infrastructure strategy by putting new, sufficient infrastructure that can handle the new EHR system in place six months prior to the new rollout.

4. Defense Health Agency anticipates to have deployed MHS Genesis at all its military medical facilities by the end of 2023.

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