Army National Guard to Receive Digital Medical Systems for Disaster Relief

Source: Healthcare IT News

Army National Guard soldiers will have the ability to digitally document patient care and manage medical supplies during disaster relief and homeland security missions in the U.S., according to a new partnership between the Army National Guard Bureau and the Army’s Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) program at Fort Detrick, Md.

In January, MC4 fielded 60 systems and trained two dozen members of the North Carolina Army National Guard. MC4 is the medical information system the Army fields to enable lifelong medical recording, streamlined medical logistics and situational awareness for Army tactical forces.

"Since the Army National Guard is the first military responder to any type of natural disaster or emergency, it is important that our Soldiers know how to use MC4 systems before they deploy to areas of need," said Earl Williams, Army National Guard Bureau logistics management specialist. "Cadres from each state will learn to set up, use and support the MC4 equipment. They will then teach the other Soldiers in their respective states during weekend training sessions. The train-the-trainer sessions offer the best scenario to disseminate the system knowledge to the users."

Army National Guard soldiers from the 54 states and territories will learn to digitally capture patient data and reorder medical supplies with MC4 systems during disaster relief and homeland security missions. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Brad Staggs) (View on Flickr) Moving forward, MC4 and the Army National Guard Bureau will develop a plan to train the remaining 53 states and territories. Units from each state would receive training at MC4 region support office locations at Fort Bragg, N.C., Fort Hood, Texas, or Fort Lewis, Wash. MC4 may field as many as 2,800 systems to the Army National Guard.

“Our partnership with the Army National Guard expands the 'train as you fight' initiative with MC4 systems,” said MC4 Product Manager Lt. Col. William Geesey. "The more familiar users become with MC4 equipment in the U.S., the better prepared they’ll be to meet medical information-sharing needs in the field.”

Since 2003, MC4 has enabled the capture of more than 15 million electronic patient encounters in the combat zone. MC4 has also trained 52,000 medical staff and commanders, and fielded 43,000 systems to 750 units with medical personnel, to include Army National Guard and Reserve units, and active component.