Army fielding app upgrades to improve mild TBI reporting on battlefield
December 2, 2010
- Improved mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) record-keeping capability available in theater
- Faster ordering of supplies and processing receipts
- Store-and-forward functionality for patient and equipment tracking
Application upgrades currently underway to Army Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) electronic medical record (EMR) systems in Iraq and Afghanistan will provide better methods for capturing and reporting mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) data.
Other enhancements include easier medical supply management and better visibility of in-transit patients and equipment. The MC4 program will field the upgrades first in Southwest Asia and then to the other 12 countries where MC4 systems remain operational.
"The Army is focusing on the development of effective tracking systems, mechanisms and business practices to trace Soldiers potentially suffering from mTBI," said MC4 Product Manager Lt. Col. William Geesey. "MC4 can be an IT (Information Technology) enabler for this initiative. This upgrade helps us better track and report exposures of head trauma on the battlefield."
The upgrade comes on the heels of a memorandum issued in June by the Deputy Secretary of Defense that required providers in the combat zone to use specific International Classification of Disease, 9th Revision (ICD-9) codes to standardize mTBI data.
MC4 is also fielding upgrades to the medical supply application, Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support Customer Assistance Module (DCAM). Using an improved user interface, medical logisticians can more efficiently manage medical supplies in the combat zone using the application's new bulk ordering and receipts functionality.
A new mobile version of the Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) Regulating and Command and Control Evacuation System (TRAC2ES) application, and inclusion of the Patient Movement Items Tracking System (PMITS) also top the list of additions to MC4 systems.
Deployed units use TRAC2ES to track the movement of sick and injured Soldiers in transit. Adding the new TRAC2ES Mobile app on MC4 systems provides a store-and-forward capability so users can generate patient movement requests during times of low-to-no connectivity whereby the information transmits when Internet access is restored.
In addition to patient tracking, deployed units need to monitor the equipment that travels with wounded warriors during medical evacuations. The award-winning application PMITS provides this capability electronically, but was not previously accessible via MC4 systems. Now part of the MC4 suite of applications, medical units can access PMITS on their MC4 laptops to manage and redistribute equipment, and avoid shortages in support of medical missions.
MC4 technical support teams are completing the upgrade in Southwest Asia using new portable hard drives in place of dozens of CDs staff can re-image multiple laptops simultaneously in about 20 minutes versus the one hour per computer using discs.
"Not only are we deploying new and improved technology, but we're doing it smarter and faster," Geesey said.