Wright-Patterson Medical Center prepares for MHS Genesis health portal

Virtual and in-person town hall set for May 3

A new online patient portal will soon be in place for patients and families relying on the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Medical Center and officials there want to make sure people are prepared for the change.

The portal, “MHS Genesis,” is scheduled to go live June 3, which is a Saturday. That gives the center a couple of days to iron out wrinkles before Monday, said Col. Thomas Gifford, chief medical informatics officer at the medical center, the Air Force’s second largest.

ExploreWright-Patt Medical Center readies for new ‘MHS Genesis’ patient portal

Col. Dale Harrell, commander of the 88th Medical Group, will host a town hall gathering to discuss the new portal Wednesday The 11 a.m. event will be at the Wright-Patterson Club on base — and also streamed live online at https://www.facebook.com/88thmdg

“As we move closer to our go-live date, our staff looks forward to the new enhancements MHS Genesis will provide our beneficiaries,” Harrell said in a statement. “Once fully operational, MHS Genesis will give patients direct access to medical records, improved ways to exchange messages with their care providers and the ability to schedule appointments online.”

Similar to the “MyChart” system used by the Premier and Kettering health systems in the Dayton area, MHS Genesis offers a way to exchange secure electronic messages with physicians and nurses, request prescription refills, make appointments, check test results and more.

However, Wright-Patterson has cautioned that, at least initially, patients can expect somewhat longer wait times. Based on industry averages, it takes about 90 days for providers to adjust to the new system and return to normal wait times, the base said in a March 15 release.

If a primary care appointment is needed between May and July, patients should make it as soon as possible, the base is advising.

The best things patients can do now to smooth the transition: Refill prescriptions in May, Gifford said in an interview. And take care of medical appointments and tests in May, when possible.

“We’re using our town hall and other information avenues to push out the message to our patients that in the next five weeks, basically the best thing to do is to refill all medications and take care of any expected health care care needs that they can do now,” Gifford said.

“We’ll have some longer than expected wait times,” he added.

Base physicians will have access to older health records, the base medical group told a questioner on Facebook recently. If you would like copies of older records, it is best to download them from Tricare Online before May 27, the medical group said on Facebook.

Gifford said patients should be able to see those records online on Tricare until about September. And he said the records aren’t going away. “If they do need older records, we can get them for them.”

Another piece of advice: Make sure your information is up to date on the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System or “DEERS.”

Patients will also have to register for the new portal. The medical group will share that information about that on Facebook and elsewhere.

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