Army medical record system expands

The Army's computerized Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) system is now in use at all Army and Air Force battlefield medical facilities, Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Eric Schoomaker said.

The United Nations' Multinational Force and Observers in Sinai, Egypt; the Army's Special Forces; and Navy and Marine Corps health care providers throughout southwest Asia are also using the system, which captures and preserves records of all care administered in the field. It assists with the administration of subsequent medical treatment and ensures that the Army maintains a complete, lifelong medical record for all soldiers.

Under the MC4 program, the Army has distributed more than 24,000 personal digital assistants, notebook computers and servers to medical units in Iraq and more than a dozen other countries, and it has trained 26,000 commanders, doctors, medics and nurses on use of the system at combat support hospitals and battalion aid stations. The system has recorded more than 5 million health care records, all of which are now available worldwide to Army medical personnel.

'When a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine goes in for treatment, their health care information is being captured electronically and being sent back to the United States no matter where they are in the world, and their records are available for their use later,' said Lt. Col. Edward Clayson, MC4 commander and product manager.

The system operates on ruggedized PDAs, notebooks and servers to digitally record data on patient care and provide access to soldier's medical records from anywhere in the world. The Army designed the system to operate in environments with little or no communications capabilities, and it can be used to record data without a continuous network connection.

The Army uses MC4 to document patient care, track patients, survey medical situations and automate medical logistics on the battlefield.

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