Army Fielding New Joint Medical Logistics Tool
July 27, 2012
FORT DETRICK, Md. - Army medical logistics processes are receiving long-awaited improvements with the Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support (DMLSS) 3.1.2 Prime Vendor Generation IV app upgrade. The new software will reduce errors, improve customer service and make processing, ordering and delivery of supplies more efficient through enhanced capabilities for medical logisticians. The upgrades will affect all echelons, to include Army medical treatment facilities, medical logistics companies and combat support hospitals.
"We are on the cusp of achieving an Army Medical Department [AMEDD] strategic goal of a joint medical logistics enterprise solution from foxhole to sustaining base," said Dana Baker, chief of the Medical Logistics Informatics Division at the Office of the Surgeon General (OTSG)/Medical Command, who assisted with the DMLSS upgrade management. "Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine units in theater and medical treatment facilities will now share the same automated medical system."
The DMLSS upgrades will be fielded to 61 Army units and more than 5,000 users located in eight countries: United States, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Korea and Japan. About 150 Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) users in five locations will gain use of the new medical supply interface by fall 2012.
DMLSS is an automated information system enabling the management of inventory, ordering of supplies, tracking and maintenance of medical equipment. Army medical personnel using the MC4 system to electronically manage medical supplies (class VIII) will soon experience new DMLSS capabilities that include price validation and catalog management.
Training for DMLSS and other MEDLOG tools will be made universal. A similar design framework was used for DMLSS and the DMLSS Customer Assistance Module (DCAM), another application for managing class VIII supplies, which MC4 users are set to receive updates for later this year. With a similar look and feel, the learning curve is reduced and crossing over among applications is streamlined among other enhancements.
"Improved catalog data, synchronized to an authoritative data source and providing one-stop shopping for complete, accurate and up-to-date vendor catalog data is the major enhancement for GEN IV users," Baker said. "The ultimate goal is to reduce pricing errors. These enhancements are a result of feedback from users, inefficiencies and corrupted data that we [OTSG] identified."
Moving forward, the catalog will look the same on every computer and connect to a medical master catalog authoritative source. This improvement will reduce cost of goods, improve the identity and accessibility of items and facilitate medical surgical standardization efforts.
The three year project to upgrade DMLSS to 3.1.2 will be implemented by August 2013, at which time the Army will sunset a legacy system; the Theater Army Medical Materiel Information System (TAMMIS) will be turned off. TAMMIS is a medical supply app dating back to the 1990s. No longer will Soldiers have to work with green screens and function keys to manage medical supply orders because DMLSS has a graphic user interface that provides a modern look and feel.
"Migrating to a joint medical logistics enterprise system positions us to embrace shared services and data," Baker said. "The Army won't have to support and resource an AMEDD-unique medical logistics system anymore."
MC4 integrates, fields and supports a comprehensive medical information system, enabling lifelong electronic medical records, streamlined medical logistics and enhanced situational awareness for Army operational forces. The Army's Program Executive Office, Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS), Fort Belvoir, Va., oversees the MC4 Product Management Office headquartered at Fort Detrick, Md.
Since 2003, MC4 has enabled the capture of more than 17 million electronic patient encounters in the combat zone. MC4 has also trained 64,000 medical staff and commanders, and fielded 51,000 systems to 2,400 units with medical personnel, to include Army National Guard and Reserve units, and active component divisional units throughout 15 countries.
For more information on MC4, visit www.mc4.army.mil.