General Dynamics, McKesson Join to Create Military Electronic Records System

Photo: aafp.org

General Dynamics Information Technology and McKesson Provider Technologies are teaming up to develop an electronic medical records system for the Department of Defense.

The letter of intent between the business unit of General Dynamics and McKesson, a healthcare and IT services company, outlined plans to develop a system the two companies call the “Way Ahead.” The new system will centralize military personnel health records, and will be accessible anywhere, even in a war zone.

President of General Dynamics Information Technology Dan Johnson thinks the partnership highlights the two company’s unique expertise.

“General Dynamics’ experience supporting the Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care program allows us to combine the proven capabilities of McKesson’s EHR solution with the systems integration and IT operations and maintenance expertise needed for optimal deployment in DoD facilities,” he said. “The ability of the Department of Defense to provide a centralized electronic health record for its medical beneficiaries will streamline and improve healthcare by reducing testing, minimizing surgery and avoiding deadly drug interactions.”

Both civilian and military healthcare providers, insurance companies and patient advocates have been pushing for systemwide electronic medical records. While most providers use EMR software, communication between facilities and military branches is hampered due to differing packages. The “Way Ahead” system is designed to solve that issue for the military.

“As the largest provider of healthcare services and IT, McKesson has deep expertise in what’s required to deploy clinical systems, drive adoption and improve outcomes, and we believe our knowledge can benefit the military health community,” said James Walsh, senior vice president at McKesson. “Through the proposed relationship with General Dynamics, we are excited about the opportunity to offer a single solution with the capability to modernize how the DoD provides care to its millions of beneficiaries.”

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