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Military medical records go paperless.

A DOD initiative to transition patient records from paper to a new digital health care database is scheduled to begin at the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC), Bethesda,Md., Sept. 18.

The new system, known as the Composite Health Care System II (CHCSII), is an upgraded version of the original CHCS program used by military health care providers for more than a decade. CHCSII will allow medical personnel to enter patient information directly into an electronic medical record without needing to first handwrite the record of the visit.

CHCSII will maintain the digital information in a centralized database, creating a comprehensive, life-long, computer-based patient record for each and every military health beneficiary. Furthermore, since the program acts as a database, hospital functions like laboratory, radiology and pathology test results will be faster. CHCSII will also improve patient safety through automatic alerts of potential allergic reactions and drug-to-drug interactions.

"This is a great change for our staff and patients," said CAPT Mark Olesen, deputy commander NNMC. "It propels us into the future of medicine, which is a world of immediate digital access, virtually unlimited and everlasting information storage capacity, and worldwide connectivity."

Although CHCSII will not immediately eliminate the use of paper records, as hospital officials point out, it is the first step toward a more efficient and integrated Navy Medicine.

"Eventually, after CHCSII is implemented worldwide, a sick or injured Sailor treated on a ship halfway around the world can be transferred to Bethesda and all of his medical information is accessible--even if he didn't have time to grab his paper record," said CAPT Kenneth Senn, CHCSII project officer at the NNMC.

Several other military medical facilities have already transitioned to CHCSII, including Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. Naval Medical Center San Diego is currently in its CHCSII implementation process.

For related news, visit the National Naval Medical Center Navy NewsStand page at

Story by Ellen Maurer,

public affairs office, National Naval

Medical Center, Bethesda, Md.
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Title Annotation:Around the Fleet; Navy uses Composite Health Care System II
Author:Maurer, Ellen
Publication:All Hands
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2005
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