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IT modernization empowers organizations to take full advantage of new technologies. ECS is supporting the Defense Health Agency (DHA) as they launch an infrastructure upgrade that will facilitate better healthcare for military servicemembers and their families.

When a servicemember is sick or injured, immediate, high-quality care is critical. The Military Health System (MHS) ensures that military forces have ready access to a global network of hospitals and clinics (also known as military treatment facilities or MTFs), as well as individual healthcare practitioners. The MHS also supports more than nine million military family members in one of the largest health benefit plans in the country.

Nearly three decades ago, the MHS made its first major foray into healthcare IT by moving from paper records to a series of computerized, electronic health records (EHRs) throughout the military. Today, they are making another enormous leap forward through the deployment of MHS GENESIS, its widely anticipated integrated EHR system. How will this electronic data be shared across one of the nation’s largest health systems? Doctors, patients, and healthcare professionals will log on to the medical community of interest (Med-COI) network, an integrated IT environment hosted by the Defense Health Agency (DHA). As the prime contractor for DHA’s migration and modernization project, ECS is responsible for leading the migration to the Med-COI.

From legacy to modern-day

In the past, each branch of the military had its own medical department: the healthcare systems of the United States Army, Navy, and Air Force were collaborative but siloed. Logistics created delays—in access to medical records, and at times medical care, for military personnel and families. As technology advanced, it became clear that IT capabilities would need to be modernized; medical professionals needed access to patient records regardless of where servicemembers were geographically, and irrespective of the military branch in which they served.

Working towards integration and interoperability in military healthcare has been a long and complex process, but change came in 2013, with the founding of DHA. DHA was created to consolidate and standardize the military’s individual medical departments along with their IT infrastructure and systems. ECS established a strong customer relationship with DHA early in the agency’s history and continues to support DHA as they embrace an integrated infrastructure.

In addition, ECS has played a key role in the Med-COI since its inception. Over the past few years, ECS has delivered architecture, design, and implementation engineering services for the Med-COI. Today, we continue to provide support by migrating systems to the Med-COI.

Secure migration

ECS supports DHA as they address privacy and cybersecurity concerns that arise during the migration to the Med-COI. DHA is implementing a network architecture at MTFs that ensures secure migration of systems and applications onto the Med-COI. In support of their work, ECS is delivering innovative security system architecture, network infrastructure modernization solutions, and providing CSSP services that secure the Med-COI while allowing for the business of the DHA to operate without interruption.

MHS GENESIS also requires additional cybersecurity measures in order to protect patient information. ECS has been instrumental in supporting the new requirement to architect and implement a security zone architecture in MTFs that further secure the MHS’ systems and data.

Partnership and collaboration

The migration from the military’s legacy systems to the Med-COI requires collaboration between several departments and agencies. ECS is providing engineering and IT modernization solutions in support of the Med-COI, as well as cyber engineering, network security operations center (NSOC) support, infrastructure modernization, and cloud engineering services. The move to the Med-COI will provide DHA visibility into the total cost of ownership, better security awareness, and a broad and comprehensive view of their enterprise.