Army equips Baghdad embassy with e-health system

The Army has equipped the clinic at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, with laptop computers that include the field version of the Defense Department’s electronic medical information system, which embassy medical staff can use to electronically order laboratory, radiology and pharmacy services.

The Army’s Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) organization provided the laptops and software to the Baghdad embassy at the request of the 728th Medical Company, which wanted to streamline medical care. The company operates the embassy clinic with the support of a State Department medical unit and the 10th Combat Support Hospital, located less than a mile from the embassy.

The laptops connect to the hospital’s systems and run MC4’s Composite Health Care System-New Technology, which allows the embassy’s medical employees to electronically make lab orders and retrieve results as if they were working at the hospital.

Using the MC4 laptops and software, embassy medical employees don’t need to write orders by hand and the hospital’s staff doesn’t need to register arriving patients. The embassy’s medical staff can use the system to monitor patients’ conditions by reviewing their charts.

"Now embassy employees can utilize the same emerging technology being used in the battlefield,” said Lt. Col. Edward Clayson, MC4 product manager.

MC4 has deployed more than 9,000 systems to more than 250 medical units operating in Iraq since 1999. Its major software packages include electronic medical record systems and logistics, patient tracking, and medical surveillance systems.

Hardware deployed by MC4 in Iraq also includes a rugged Hewlett-Packard iPaq handheld computer used by medics to store and retrieve essential elements on a patient encounter and then transfer that information to the MC4 laptop systems.

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