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MHS GENESIS Patient Portal Champions Strive to Improve Patient Experience

Image of MHS GENESIS Patient Portal Champions Strive to Improve Patient Experience. Staff at Kirk Army Health Clinic, Aberdeen Proving Ground in Fort Meade, Maryland, receive on-site support from an MHS GENESIS “super user” on March 25, 2023, during the go-live across the National Capital Region. MHS GENESIS is also being supported by Patient Portal Champions. (Courtesy Photo: Kirk Army Health Clinic)

The global rollout of the Department of Defense’s MHS GENESIS electronic health record system is now 86% complete with more than160,000 users and 6.1 million beneficiaries in the system so far. The rollout was completed stateside on June 6, 2023.

To improve the system for staff and advocate for beneficiaries, the Defense Health Agency has designated Patient Portal champions at major hospitals and clinics.

These champions are the single point of contact for the Patient Portal, serving command and leadership teams at their respective military hospitals and clinics. They are the liaisons between their site and the Patient Portal leads at DHA.

“The patient portal solution team constantly improves the patient experience and harnesses the power of a fully integrated electronic health record that can be accessed from any web-connected devise 24/7,” said U.S. Public Health Service Lt. Cmdr. Minh Doan, DHA Informatics.

“Champions support the future-state workflows that are supported by the design of the EHR (clinical and business workflows). They are always evaluating optimization opportunities with MHS GENESIS and the portal specifically,” Doan said.

The MHS GENESIS Patient Portal Working Group holds weekly calls to make announcements, discuss strategic issues, optimization and sustainment topics, and convergence opportunities with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The working group hears from a large audience including all portal champions, as well as key stakeholders across most DHA functional areas, such as optimization, patient education, appointing/scheduling solution, communications, U.S. Coast Guard, the Defense Healthcare Management Systems Project Management Office, end-user engagement, the Global Service Center, MHS GENESIS contractors, and the VA.

“Understanding how the Patient Portal ties to various components of MHS GENESIS like revenue cycle, power chart, and pharmacy can help military hospitals and clinics fully leverage MHS GENESIS for access to care and document highest quality health care,” said Timothy McCann, champion and group practice manager with the 59th Medical Operations Group. The 59th is the U.S. Air Force's largest medical wing and the U.S. Air Force functional medical command for Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.

Issues Champions Address

The champions take on a variety of issues, including access methods, such as providing instructions on setting up DS Logon accounts, including “remote proofing of the accounts, guiding the relationship setting for DS Logon accounts for proxies and sponsors,” McCann explained. hospitals and clinics.

Remote proofing is a multiple-step process with various workflows that allow DOD to verify a beneficiary’s identity. The system automatically selects which workflow the user will navigate, explained Joselle Mclaren, the patient champion at Evans Army Community Hospital aboard Fort Carson, Colorado. hospitals and clinics.

Since the Defense Manpower Data Center came up with new ways to activate the Digital Subscriber Line in September 2022, she has conducted monthly training sessions and Q&As available to staff and beneficiaries. “This has become useful, since I provide helpful tips to successfully remote proof, though at times, I cannot resolve some issues, and I elevate them to DHA senior officers and DMDC leadership,” she said. hospitals and clinics.

Proxies are parents with special needs kids. “They are limited to viewing immunizations, allergies, appointments, and secure messaging,” Mclaren explained.

She lets parents know this limited access is due to DOD policy and based on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

She also directs proxies to fill out form DD 2870 and obtain their medical records from the hospital’s outpatient medical records.

“Other common questions revolve around the content available in the portal, making appointments in the direct-booking feature of the portal, and how to use secure messaging with providers and clinics,” McCann said.

The second-most common issue he sees is patients’ information not being up to date or their inability to access dependents records in the Patient Portal.

To reduce these issues, service members must keep their family members’ information up to date in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, McCann suggested. DEERS is the worldwide, computerized database of sponsors, their family members, and others who are eligible for military benefits, including TRICARE.

How Fort Carson’s Champion Works

On a personal and local level, Mclaren said, “I help our beneficiaries navigate through the MHS GENESIS Patient Portal system. I provide them helpful tips to successfully activate their DSL for accessing the Patient Portal. I do this when I receive a ticket to help resolve beneficiaries’ activation issue/concerns as well as when I do my monthly training and Q&A session with staff and beneficiaries. I advocate for them when they provide me with input regarding how to improve the system. I elevate their issues … to make the Patient Portal more user friendly and more efficient.”

She recognized the significance of getting feedback from patients.

“I do not ignore their input,” Mclaren said. “I actively listen and fully engage in finding resolution to their issues/concerns. I am their last resort after calling the Global Service Center.” She makes sure to contact beneficiaries via phone to hear their issues, and, if she cannot reach them, she sends an email letting the beneficiary know to contact her at their convenience, she explained.

At Evans, Mclaren has focused on training and educating clinical staff to successfully market the transition from the legacy TRICARE online system to MHS GENESIS. “I strongly believe providing solid education and training will yield a better outcome where staff can fully engage with marketing Patient Portal to our beneficiaries,” she said.

Once the staff fully understands how the Patient Portal functions in relation to MHS GENESIS, they “can articulately share that knowledge,” she explained. When the Patient Portal has new available features, she tests the functionality and trains staff. Only then will she and the staff market it to beneficiaries.

Beneficiaries can find out who is their Patient Portal champion via:

  • Contacting the Global Service Center
  • Contacting clinic staff
  • Contacting the patient advocate office at your local base
  • Attending monthly sessions on the portal
  • Flyers and social media advertising monthly training and Q&A sessions and relaying helpful information

Mclaren also provides in-services to all clinics and collaborates with the PEO to resolve beneficiary complaints, she said.

She also created a brochure to help beneficiaries activate DSL based on the DMDC information that is being used enterprise-wide.

How to Get Assistance

The best way for patients to get assistance with the Patient Portal is to log in a ticket with the DHA Help Desk at 1-800-600-9332 or via email at https://gsc.health.mil McCann said.

If the issue is with the DS Logon, they should log in a ticket with the DMDC Customer Contact Center at 1-800-368-3665.

Other support resources are a DS Logon FAQ document on the DMDC login screen. It can be found by selecting the "Need Support?" link at the bottom of the page.

Similarly, there is a Patient Portal-specific FAQ document available within the Patient Portal. It can be found in the center of the landing page at the link titled "Frequently Asked Questions."

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Last Updated: November 14, 2023
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