Healthcare // Clinical Information Systems
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4/14/2009
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U.S. Military Using Business Intelligence To Track Wounded Soldiers

WebFocus BI tools help the military improve medical care for sick and injured personnel while in transit to medical facilities and once they arrive.

The U.S. Department of Defense is using business intelligence tools to help track and monitor injured and sick military personnel as they're transported for medical care globally.

The U.S. Transportation Command, which operates under the Defense Department, is responsible for deployment and distribution of military assets and equipment globally. But over the last several years, U.S. Transcom, as it's called, has been rolling out Information Builders' WebFocus business intelligence tools to improve planning of medical care for and monitoring of injured or sick military personnel while they're in transit.

The Trac2es system -- which is short for Transcom Regulating and Command and Control Evacuation System -- includes decision support, reporting, and analysis tools used for tracking and coordinating movement of patients for medical care, said Lt. Col. Keith Lostroh, functional program manager of Trac2es.

The business intelligence tools are helping the U.S. military track soldiers who are injured and need to be evacuated from battle in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as military personnel stationed elsewhere across the globe who need to travel more than 100 miles for less-urgent medical care.

The tools provide "in-transit visibility" of these patients so that the military medical facilities are better prepared with appropriate medical staff and services to treat these patients' often complex needs when they arrive, with the goal of ultimately improving the outcome of the patients, said Lostroh.

By entering into the system critical information about a patient, including demographic data and clinical data about the severity of an injury, military personnel can make better informed decisions about things like whether it's safe for the patient to fly to another facility for care and how quickly that needs to happen.

On the other end, clinical personnel use the system to have better insight into the kind of treatment the patient will need upon arrival. The goal is to minimize the patient's suffering and complications, as well as provide updates to military leaders.

Lostroh said, "Once a patient starts movement, we can tell the leaders where the person is," such as being transported from a medical unit near where an injury occurred in battle to larger medical facilities in the region or even back to hospitals in the United States, such as Brooke Army Medical Burn Center in Austin, Texas, or Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

The system also tracks the transport of military patients who are well enough to travel on commercial air carriers, he said. Such routine care could include military personnel based in noncombat U.S. bases in the world needing to travel for nonemergency medical care, such as a solider based in the Pacific Rim needing allergy treatment at a health facility in Hawaii.

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