Skip main navigation

Military Health System

Clear Your Browser Cache

This website has recently undergone changes. Users finding unexpected concerns may care to clear their browser's cache to ensure a seamless experience.

COVID-19 Registry Provides Pandemic Response Insights, Optimizes Patient Care

Image of Navy Chief Navy Counselor Agnieszka Grzelczyk assigned to Navy Talent Acquisition Group Philadelphia received the COVID-19 vaccine at Naval Weapons Station Earle in March 2021. Navy Chief Navy Counselor Agnieszka Grzelczyk assigned to Navy Talent Acquisition Group Philadelphia received the COVID-19 vaccine at Naval Weapons Station Earle in March 2021.

Three years ago, the world braced for the impacts of an unforeseen global pandemic. While this time proved challenging, it also highlighted the Department of Defense’s flexibility, resilience, and innovation in the face of a health care crisis.

Prior to the pandemic, the DOD began deploying MHS GENESIS, the new federal electronic health record, to improve health care outcomes for our service members, veterans, and their families. Critical enterprise needs quickly came to light to combat the impacts of the COVID-19 disease.

The Enterprise Intelligence and Data Solutions program management office quickly built population health management capabilities. EIDS and the DOD Center of Excellence for Trauma Joint Trauma System office established the COVID-19 registry.

This new registry collected COVID-19 patient data—including vaccination data—from MHS GENESIS and all relevant legacy systems into one patient view. JTS brought more than two decades of trauma registry experience to this effort. The new registry began collecting COVID-19 data in May 2020.
According to U.S. Air Force Col. Stacy Shackelford, JTS chief during the pandemic and clinical lead for the COVID-19 registry, "Data from the registry, although not perfect, filled a knowledge gap that improved leadership awareness of the effects of the pandemic within the DOD and guided clinical practice."

JTS and EIDS tracked clinical performance improvement metrics and trends throughout the pandemic. The COVID-19 registry did not replace the public health functions of tracking total numbers and patient contacts. The registry allowed DOD to monitor evolving treatment priorities and critical at-risk patients more closely, while tracking surveillance data on all identified COVID-19-positive patients.

Prior to the pandemic, COVID-19 data standards did not exist. Thousands of providers across the world coded COVID-19 tests and diagnosis codes differently until the clinical community established coding standards and common reporting protocols. The lack of COVID-19 data standards, use of different electronic health records, and reporting of laboratory results in the notes section of a patient’s record made it difficult to search for one name or one code to obtain a comprehensive list. This disparate reporting caused another problem in standardization which the COVID-19 registry aimed to resolve.

The COVID-19 registry, built on the best available data definitions and codes at the time, was stood up within approximately 60 days of defining initial requirements. As the data matured, the COVID-19 team remained flexible, continuously evolving their analytics to include nomenclature in the manner captured.

“The COVID-19 registry is a success story for our team. It demonstrates our ability to standardize and be flexible and nimble to any impending health care crisis,” explained Shackleford. “Most importantly, our systems pivoted quickly, leveraging existing capabilities and creating new capabilities to support the needs of this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic.”

The COVID-19 registry is a useful tool, allowing population health officials to look at treatments and outcomes. Used in conjunction with other larger data sources, it enables improved clinical decision-making and better patient outcomes.

According to Chris Nichols, program manager of EIDS, “We are proud to have partnered with JTS experts to create a solution that refined reporting variance and standardized accounting across data sources around COVID-19 providing actionable pandemic response insights.”

You also may be interested in...

Video
Jun 13, 2024

Technical support for MHS GENESIS

Technical support for MHS GENESIS

MHS GENESIS – the modern electronic health record that features a patient-focused Portal providing access to your medical records. Since this is a new electronic health record, there are bound to be questions and technical issues with the system. For technical assistance with issues accessing the Patient Portal, beneficiaries are encouraged to ...

Topic
Apr 22, 2024

MHS GENESIS: The Electronic Health Record

MHS GENESIS is the Military Health System's modern electronic health record. When fully deployed, MHS GENESIS will provide a single health record for service members, veterans, and their families.

Article
Mar 23, 2024

Military Health System Leader Shares His Vision for Collaboration Between the Military Health System and Department of Veterans Affairs

Military Health System Leader Shares His Vision for Collaboration Between MHS and Department of Veterans Affairs

Dr. Paul Cordts, deputy assistant director of medical affairs for the Defense Health Agency, addressed the ongoing collaboration of the Military Health System and the Department of Veterans Affairs in a presentation at the annual meeting of AMSUS, the Society of Federal Health Professionals.

Article
Mar 21, 2024

The HIPAA Privacy Rule and Military Health Care: What Parents of Minors Need To Know

The HIPAA Privacy Rule and Military Health Care: What Parents of Minors Need To Know

Are you the parent or legal sponsor of a minor child? If so, there are things you should know about what access you have to your child’s health care records and choices. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Privacy Final Rule protects minors’ privacy concerning their health care choices and treatment.

Article Around MHS
Jan 23, 2024

MHS GENESIS Deploying in Guam

U.S. Air Force personnel assigned to the 36th Medical Group learn to use the Military Health System Genesis program at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Jan. 12, 2024. MHS Genesis is an advanced electronic health record, that has replaced several legacy systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Allon Lapaix)

With Andersen Air Force Base, Guam being a part of the last wave to have the MHS GENESIS go online, members at Andersen now have access to the same information and systems that are being utilized by other bases around the world.

Article
Jan 5, 2024

Ask the Doc: How Does MHS GENESIS Improve Patient Safety?

MHS GENESIS, the advanced electronic health record, has features that help improve safety and quality care for patients. (Photo: Robyn Mincher)

The Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application worked for what we needed back in 2002. Since then, technology and requirements have changed significantly—and the platform could not keep up. When the Department of Defense set out to replace AHLTA and the other legacy EHR systems, the primary requirement was two-fold: first, patient safety ...

Skip subpage navigation
Refine your search
Last Updated: July 11, 2023
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on X Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery