FORT SAM HOUSTON, TEXAS " The U.S. Army Medical Information Technology Center (USAMITC) is leading the planning efforts to transition and upgrade all U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) computers from Windows XP to
Windows® 7. This massive migration will include all computers, or end-user devices (EUDs), at all MEDCOM sites throughout the world.

“The U.S. Army Cyber Command ordered this migration to provide a more secure network,” said Kelly Turner, USAMITC Windows® 7 Project Manager. “This migration will also provide a common computing platform across the MEDCOM, with the goal of minimizing the cost of delivering information technology support to healthcare delivery.” This means that USAMITC will deploy the same system across the MEDCOM to every computer and its user.

These migrations are taking place at all MEDCOM facilities which include hospitals and clinics worldwide. “Our business is supporting the Healthcare mission and the Warfighter.” said Turner.

The Military Health System and the Defense Health Information Management System plan to release the Windows® 7-Compatible version of the Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application (AHLTA), the outpatient electronic health record system, on a similar timeline to the Windows® 7 deployment. “It makes sense to deploy Windows® 7 and the AHLTA upgrade in tandem to minimize the impact to the patients and healthcare providers and to maximize IT resources,” she concluded.

There are several other benefits to the Windows® 7 upgrade. In addition, MEDCOM vendors are delivering Food and Drug Administration and other clinical devices that are Windows® 7 compatible, thereby phasing out support for items installed with Windows XP. Upgrading the operating system allows for upgrades and transitions to other IT products such as the latest Microsoft Exchange Server which will further unify other enterprise network products. These include Microsoft’s Systems Center Configuration Manager and their Operating System Deployment service.

The MEDCOM utilized six pilot sites, of which USAMITC was one, for the Windows® 7 migration effort. The MEDCOM started testing in December 2010 and concluded in June 2011. USAMITC is scheduled to release the Windows® 7 Operating System to sites later this year. Each clinical site is responsible for upgrading their own site’s computers, and the transition to Windows® 7 for all MEDCOM EUDs is scheduled to be completed by the end of July 2012.