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NEWS | Jan. 4, 2023

MHS GENESIS and Your Pharmacy Experience

By Maj. Ryann O'Neill 633d Medical Group

The 633d Medical Group at Joint Base Langley-Eustis will launch the Department of Defense’s new electronic health record, Military Health System GENESIS, on January 21, 2023. This change is in collaboration with the other facilities in the Defense Health Agency’s Tidewater Market, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth and Fort Eustis’ McDonald Army Health Center.

The new system streamlines electronic health records, providing a single, secure health record for active-duty service members, veterans, and their families. As of September 2022, MHS GENESIS has gone live at 67% of military medical treatment facilities across the DoD; by the end of 2023, MHS GENESIS will be fully deployed across the globe.

MHS GENESIS has major advantages over the previous systems allowing for better management of chronic, complex, and time-sensitive health conditions. Increasing capabilities allows patients to securely engage directly with providers and improve provider-patient interaction time by consolidating patient information into one electronic health record. Additionally, MHS GENESIS provides continuity of care for service members anywhere in the world – from the date they enter into the military until transitioning to veteran status.  

As can be expected, transitioning to a new, expansive system presents challenges during its adoption. It will take time for providers and staff to adjust to new workflows, procedures and processes, resulting in increased wait times and decreased appointment availability at first. Throughout previous MHS GENESIS deployment waves, patients have noticed these increases in one spot more than others: the pharmacy.

“Even if appointments are decremented, our pharmacy volume may not appreciably decrease and that is especially true for prescriptions from off-base prescribers,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Pedro Colón, 633d MDG Pharmacy flight commander.

This means the pharmacy staff will be learning new workflows while attempting to keep up with off-base prescribers. Additionally, Colón notes that MHS GENESIS provides many benefits, particularly with patient safety and claims adjudication (how TRICARE pays for prescriptions). The steps associated with processing a prescription are simply more numerous and longer than the current systems.

In anticipation of the go-live at the 633d MDG, Colón and his team are actively preparing for the launch. Each member of the Langley Pharmacy team has accomplished roughly 20 hours of training on the new system, and the pharmacy aims to flatten the learning curve by visiting Nellis and MacDill Air Force Bases to see some best practices firsthand.

“Our site visit to Nellis was valuable, as it allowed us to benefit from lessons learned and understand some nuances that our staff would not know based solely on the training environment,” said Colón. “We are hopeful that we will be able to get after some of these potential pitfalls to make our go-live as smooth as possible, with the understanding this system lends itself to longer wait times at the pharmacy.”

Now is the time to take proactive measures to ensure you and your family are prepared. Prescriptions may be refilled up to seven days early for a 30 day supply and 21 days early for a 90 day supply.

For more information on MHS GENESIS, check out the 633d Medical Group’s website or Facebook page. Additionally, there are pamphlets and flyers available throughout the 633d MDG. To access to the MHS GENESIS Patient Portal, visit