Top lessons learned in implementing electronic health records

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Chuck Campbell, former chief information officer at the Military Health System and CEO of IT Partner Consulting, discusses five lessons from rolling out electronic health records, and why the number one goal should always be patient safety.


The Defense Health Agency is aiming to deploy the MHS Genesis electronic health record at more military hospitals this fall. To make sure the rollout goes smoothly, DHA is looking at lessons learned from the EHR’s first implementation in late 2017. Chuck Campbell, former chief information officer at the Military Health System and CEO of IT Partner Consulting, says that the Department of Defense needs to introduce new healthcare technology differently than private industry.

 

“In the private sector, those systems, the infrastructure, they’re purpose built. If I was building a new healthcare system, I would be able to define exactly how I want that system and infrastructure to be. Using DoD as an example, they have to abide by the rules of the bigger DoD.” Campbell said. “If you look at it from a budget perspective, the healthcare system only makes up about 10 percent of DoD. They have to abide by those IT rules and use the infrastructure that they are given.”

 

One of the biggest goals for MHS Genesis is for it to be interoperable with both Veterans Affairs and private sector health record systems. However, Campbell says that making sure the tech is working shouldn’t distract the Defense Department from making sure patients are safe.

 

“With the IT rollout, what people think about is ‘What’s my goal?’ It is to make interoperable one large database? What I’m trying to do is bring it back and say ‘What is the most important thing from the business of healthcare perspective?’” Campbell told Government Matters. “To me it is patient safety… you can have the best system in the world, but no matter what else happens, you have to ensure that the patients are safe.”