DOD supply app to manage medical supplies on the battlefield

Doctors serving wounded and sick soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq should get the medical supplies they need thanks to a new feature the Defense Department is developing for its medical supplies support application.

The Joint Medical Asset Repository is designed to target just-in-time delivery to DOD hospitals and mobile medical facilities in the battlefield.

JMAR links multiple databases in one repository and lets users see what is happening within the supply chain. DOD developed the Web-based application with Akimeka LLC in Kihei, Hawaii, and has used it extensively in support of Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, said Col. Cathy Erickson, Medical Service Corps program manager for Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support in the Joint Medical Information Systems Program Office.

DOD is piloting an executive dashboard that displays information in the repository. Premise Development Corp. of Hartford, Conn., is developing the dashboard prototype, and Akimeka will incorporate it into the repository, which DOD and the contractor have been migrating to Oracle9i.

'This is the precursor to being able to do more prediction of requirements for medical supplies in the theater,' Erickson said. 'What we have seen through the entire war effort is that medical facilities in deployed locations don't have a good rollup of what specific products are being used throughout the theater and the demands and requirements of their clinicians,' she said.

The executive dashboard will help determine the requirements and pass them along to the wholesale partners of the Defense Logistics Agency so that they can assemble a list of the medical products DOD requires.

Currently, workers at the Defense Supply Center in Philadelphia have to search multiple databases to try to predict supply needs.

'The goal in the next two years is to take JMAR from a repository to a data warehouse, so that it will actually have historical transaction information about all those demands so that we might be able to get to requirements forecasting instead of just demand replenishment,' Erickson said.

This year Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support and the Defense Supply Center will also combine medical and surgical catalogs from DOD and the Veterans Affairs Department into one that both agencies can use despite each agency having separate cataloging methods. DOD alone uses close to a million medical and surgical items annually.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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