Interesting news is reported by the Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) project. The US Army has announced that the newly developed informatics system is now available for the first time in Afghanistan theater:
The 14th Combat Support Hospital (CSH) will begin using Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) systems this month, marking the first time deployed medical forces in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) will have digital medical recording technology at their fingertips. MC4 will equip the 14th CSH, Forward Surgical Teams (FSTs) and other units in Afghanistan with more than 500 systems, on which they’ve already been trained to use during their Joint Task Force Hurricane Katrina efforts in 2005.
“The MC4 notebook computer will be a welcome addition to the surgical wards,” said Colonel Jeff Haun, Commander of the 14th CSH. “I’m glad the Army Medical Department Center and School and the Information Management/Information Technology (IM/IT) communities have come together to deliver a multitask platform for the efficient documentation of electronic heath records that is more in synch with business process, via the integrated MC4 desktop.”
In February, the 14th CSH assumed its predecessors’ (249th General Hospital) business practices by continuing to record and share medical information the old fashioned way – on paper.
“This integration of off-the-shelf software and links at the desktop level should reduce the time users spend downloading and installing applications on their own,” Haun said. “The ‘swivel chair business process’ can be reduced because the number of computers needed to ‘swivel back and forth’ is cut down.”
In 2005, MC4 fielded more than 6,500 systems into Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar, in addition to enabling the 86th CSH to become the first deployed hospital in the history of U.S. warfare to electronically capture Service members’ healthcare treatments in Iraq by using a joint medical software system.
If you want to learn more about the system, here is our earlier coverage: Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) System; Pointsec Encryption for PDAs
The press release (.pdf)…