Brigade to test field injuries recording device
CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — The 2nd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade soon will test a system that doctors say should make reporting field injuries more accurate.
The MC4 digital recording system should also better prepare hospitals and clinics by giving them more detailed injury information before wounded soldiers arrive, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team officials said.
When a soldier gets hurt in the field, a medic evaluates the injury and writes it on paper. The paper gets sent with the soldier to the next destination, which could be anywhere from a triage area to a hospital, depending on the situation.
Anything can happen to a piece of paper in the field, said Capt. Michael Dann, a doctor. The injury information itself can be subjected to changing stories.
“By the time it makes it to a provider, it’s gone through two or three different people,” Dann said. “The soldier tells the medic, who tells the (physician assistant). Then 121 Hospital works off that.”
With MC4, the clinic or hospital that will treat a wounded soldier should have the injury information from the point of injury.
The on-site medical provider can input the wounded soldier’s information into a hand-held wireless device or laptop. The information can be transmitted to the caregiver well before the patient arrives, officials say.
MC4 is already being used in Iraq and Afghanistan. Brigade officials are currently working with contractors to install the infrastructure and expect the new system to be operating in September, said 2nd Lt. Ricardo Rodriguez, 1st brigade medical operations officer.
Health care providers, medical company commanders, logistics and operations officers all will be trained on the system by next month, Rodriguez said. About half of the brigade’s medical personnel took one- or two-day training courses in June, depending on their specialty.
The brigade’s medical providers should be able to transmit injury statistics based on type and unit to the 18th Medical Command, Rodriguez said.
Without MC4, providers have to manually enter statistical data from paper records into a spreadsheet program, a time-consuming process with greater potential for error, officials say.
The MC4 system is built on the AHLTA platform system currently used in South Korea and should be easy to learn, Dann said.
“It’s very intuitive,” Dann said. “Once they have a basic knowledge of AHLTA, it’s just a matter of showing them how to use the altered version.”