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    Informatics team at NME takes strides to expand on patient care

    Informatics team at NME takes strides to expand on patient care

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephane Belcher | 170328-N-PG340-036 PORTSMOUTH, Va. (March 28, 2017) Mr. William 'Bill' Foley (from...... read more read more



    Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephane Belcher 

    Navy Medicine East

    “I’ve known since I was a little kid that I wanted to work in medicine,” said Cmdr. Michelle Perkins, chief medical informatics officer, Navy Medicine East. “My dream was always to be a pediatrician.”

    “My dad was a doctor, so I had the opportunity to go to the hospital with him while he delivered babies,” added Perkins. “I knew I didn’t want to deliver them; I wanted to take care of them.”

    Perkins went to medical school at Louisiana State University School of Medicine (New Orleans) through the Navy Health Professions Scholarship Program. After completing her pediatric residency at Naval Medical Center San Diego, she served at the Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital at Twentynine Palms, California, where she not only fulfilled her dream but also received the Outstanding Pediatrician of the Year Award for U.S. Navy, Uniformed Services West Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics.

    After working at Twentynine Palms, she received orders as a pediatrician to Naval Hospital Jacksonville. There she took on the collateral job of the Chief Medical Informatics Officer and assisted with transitioning the hospital’s emergency department from paper records to electronic health records.

    “The transition to electronic health records can be painful. And taking on that challenge in the emergency room was a big deal,” said Perkins. “Having strong relationships with the information systems technicians, Nursing Informatics Officer and hospital leadership were all crucial for a smooth transition.”

    It was Perkins’ role as NH Jacksonville Chief Medical Informatics Officer that led to her decision to take on a larger role in Informatics at Navy Medicine East.

    While she still squeezes in time to provide pediatric care, Perkins and the Navy Medicine East medical informatics team oversee, collaborate and assist in health informatics programs and platforms across approximately 100 facilities in the eastern hemisphere—from virtual health to the enterprise-wide transition to Military Health System GENESIS—the Department of Defense’s new electronic health record.

    Navy Medicine (in collaboration with Navy Medicine East) provides the strategy, guidance and governance in the informatics world, supporting the medical treatment facilities on their various initiatives and challenges.

    “It’s the people at the deck plates who have the great ideas about how technology can be used to support health care,” said Perkins. “At Navy Medicine East, we take in those ideas and look at the technical aspects from a broader perspective, utilizing all of our resources while trying to avoid redundancies.”

    For example, in San Diego there’s a tele-critical care project where an intensivist (also known as a critical care physician) or an adult pulmonologist can monitor a patient located across the country. They can see the patient in their room, view their vitals and chart virtually in real-time in collaboration with the onsite resident or a staff member who is working hands-on with the patient. The virtual physicians monitor the patient's treatments, from medications to radiology results and make recommendations on any additional interventions that might be needed.

    “We collaborated with the staff in San Diego to support our treatment facilities with a similar tele-critical care project, instead of starting our own,” said Perkins. "About a year ago we launched the project with Camp Lejeune as the pilot, and have just recently expanded these capabilities to Jacksonville with San Diego providing tele-critical care services on an as needed basis.”

    Regional support is also shown through joint initiatives like the Outpatient System Integrated Product Team, which allows clinicians to give feedback when they have concerns with the legacy outpatient electronic medical records system (CHCS/AHLTA). Perkins is on the Outpatient System Integrated Product Team as the Navy representative and reviews system change requests from treatment facilities.

    Programs such as Outpatient System Integrated Product Team are a vital form of communication not only within Navy Medicine but the entire Military Health System while switching from legacy systems to MHS Genesis.

    There’s also the Tri-Service Workflow Advisory Group, which includes the Air Force, Army and Navy reviewing the clinical workflows, such as what happens for a doctor when they go in and see a patient, or from the standpoint of the patient. This collaboration among the different services will marry up the way providers practice medicine with the electronic health systems in a way that makes sense to nurses, clinicians and patients.

    “We’re always looking at the different things we can use to help support clinicians, either in providing better care or a better way of gathering data about the care that’s being provided,” said Perkins. “At Navy Medicine East, the most important thing is that we support the military treatment facilities across the globe in supporting patients’ needs, and that’s the end goal."

    NME oversees the delivery of medical, dental and other health care services to approximately one million patients—including the Tidewater Military Health System which brings together McDonald Army Health Center, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth and U.S. Air Force Hospital Langley. Plus, its public health activities extend globally. For more information, visit www.med.navy.mil/sites/nme.



    Date Taken: 07.10.2017
    Date Posted: 07.10.2017 10:01
    Story ID: 240599
    Location: PORTSMOUTH , VA, US 

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