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Retirement of Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs) Medical Records at NPRC

NPRC stores retired Military Treatment Facility (MTF) clinical records (hospital inpatient) and medical treatment records (inpatient and outpatient) for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and the Defense Health Agency (DHA).   MTF medical records retired to NPRC from 2002 onward are electronically indexed in the NPRC Medical Registry System (MRS).

Retiring Inpatient and Outpatient Medical Records using ARCIS/MRS

The retirement of MTF clinical records (hospital inpatient) and medical treatment records (inpatient and outpatient) to NPRC is performed through ARCIS/MRS.  When an MTF is ready to retire a shipment of medical records to NPRC, it must first generate two electronic ASCII files within Composite Health Care System (CHCS).

Shipment Data File (SDF): The electronic ASCII file that provides information about the MTF shipping the records and the shipment details (used by NPRC to create Transfer/Accession documentation).

Record Index (RI): The electronic ASCII file that provides a patient information index of each medical record that is included in the shipment (used by NPRC to generate registry indexes and labels).

In the ARCIS/MRS process, said files are created by Medical Record Technicians within CHCS.  Once created, the files are then automatically extracted from CHCS by the System-Electronic Transfer Utility (System-ETU) on a nightly basis.  Once extracted, the System-ETU will then save the files to the MTF’s LD (logical device) secure directory.  Designated PAD POCs will then access the files and upload them directly into ARCIS/MRS through the use of the ARCIS/MRS MTF Customer Web Portal.

Once the files are uploaded into ARCIS/MRS through the web portal, they are processed by NPRC personnel.  When the files have been successfully processed, NPRC will authorize the records shipment by emailing the MTF a Shipment Notice which contains a Transfer/Accession number.

How to Get an ARCIS/MRS MTF Customer Web Portal Account

In order to upload SDF and RI files into ARCIS/MRS, the MTF PAD POCs will require access to the ARCIS/MRS MTF Customer Web Portal.  To gain access to the Customer Portal, a user must submit a request for access to their ARCIS/MRS Service Branch POC using the NA FORM 13170A. Select the appropriate form based on the MTFs branch of service:

Army MTFs

Air Force MTFs

DHA MTFs

Navy MTFs

To fill out the form, please use the following steps:

Step 1:  The person requesting access to the ARCIS/MRS MTF Customer Web Portal fills out the first section of the form by specifying the action requested as Create New User.

Step 2a:  The person requesting access to the ARCIS/MRS MTF Customer Web Portal fills out all fields in the second section of the form pertaining to the ARCIS/MRS MTF User Information. This includes the requested user’s:

                                Last Name
                                First Name
                                Middle Initial (optional)
                                Office Commercial Phone Number & extn
                                E-mail Address
                                Job Title
                                Name of the Military Treatment Facility
                                DMIS ID
                                Service Branch & Record Group
                                MTF Mailing Address

Step 2b: The person requesting access to the ARCIS/MRS MTF Customer Web Portal checks the level of access they require in the system, and then prints-out and signs the form at the bottom of the second section.

Level I – Provides user with the ability to view and upload SDF and RI files submitted by the MTF user (recommended for most users)

Level II – Provides user with the ability to view SDF and RI files for an entire branch of military service (only recommended for ARCIS/MRS Service Branch POCs and other administrators)

Step 3:  The person requesting access to the ARCIS/MRS MTF Customer Web Portal then scans and emails or faxes the completed copy of the request form to the ARCIS/MRS Service Branch POC for their military branch.  NOTE:  There is only one ARCIS/MRS Service Branch POC for each branch of military service.  If you do not know who the Service Branch POC is for your military service branch, CLICK HERE.

Step 4:  Once received, the ARCIS/MRS Service Branch POC reviews the request form and fills out all fields in the fourth section of the form pertaining to the Service Branch POC. This includes the ARCIS/MRS Service Branch POC’s:

                                Last Name
                                First Name
                                Middle Initial (optional)
                                Office Commercial Phone Number & extn
                                Office Commercial Fax Number
                                E-mail Address
                                Job Title

NOTE:  The ARCIS/MRS Service Branch POC may choose to have these fields pre-populated on the form.

Step 5:  The ARCIS/MRS Service Branch POC designated to authorize new ARCIS/MRS MTF Customer Web Portal users should e-mail the completed request form from their .mil e-mail account to arcishelp@nara.gov.  By emailing a scanned copy of the request form with the user’s signature, the Service Branch POC is authorizing the request.  Please do not mail or fax the form.

Step 6:  NPRC staff will verify the information in the application, notify the Service Branch POC designated to authorize new ARCIS/MRS MTF Customer Web Portal users that the requested user has been added, and e-mail the user ID and password to the new user.  The new user should be able to login to ARCIS immediately upon receipt of the user ID and password.  

Uploading SDF and RI Files using the ARCIS/MRS MTF Customer Web Portal

The SDF and RI files that are uploaded into the ARCIS/MRS MTF Customer Web Portal originate from data held within CHCS. 

In the ARCIS/MRS file upload process, MTF Medical Records Technicians create the files in CHCS.  The System – ETU will extract the created files, and saves said files to the MTF’s LD secure directory.  Designated PAD POCs will then access the files and upload them directly into ARCIS/MRS through the use of the ARCIS/MRS MTF Customer Web Portal.

The ARCIS/MRS MTF Customer Web Portal MTF User Guide provides step by step instructions on how to:

  1. Create SDF and RI files in CHCS
  2. Extract SDF and RI files from CHCS and save them to the MTF’s LD Secure Directory
  3. Obtain SDF and RI files from the MTF’s LD Secure Directory
  4. Obtain an ARCIS/MRS MTF Customer Web Portal User Account
  5. Upload SDF and RI Files using the ARCIS/MRS MTF Customer Web Portal

When NPRC receives the SDF and RI files through the ARCIS/MRS MTF Customer Web Portal

NARA/NPRC will receive the SDF and RI files and process them in ARCIS/MRS.  If the files are correct, NARA/NPRC will send the PAD POC who submitted the files a Shipment Notice with the shipment’s Transfer/Accession Number.  Once received, the PAD POC should proceed to prepare and ship the medical records.

The Medical Record Tracking Retirement and Retrieval (MRTR2) User Guide

The military service branches maintain the MRTR2 User Guide which provides instructions on overall medical record management using CHCS, as well as instructions on the retirement of medical records to NPRC.

NOTE: Any questions regarding the MRTR2 guide should be directed to each service’s Records Management Officer and/or CHCS Administrator.

"NARA ensures, for the Citizen and the Public Servant, for the President and the Congress and the Courts, ready access to essential evidence."

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