|Spc. Gabriel Castel, medic with the 2nd Battalion, 137th Infantry Regiment, reviews patient information via the MC4 system in the battalion aid station at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.|
MIESAU, Germany, April 29, 2011 — Computer systems used to digitally document patient care and reorder medical supplies in garrison aid stations have been added to the U.S. Army Europe Network domain. Now from a central location in Miesau, Germany, the U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics (G4) Logistics Automation Branch (LAB) can remotely patch and update Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) systems. Updates include critical information assurance vulnerability alert (IAVA) patches. The integration effort improves MC4 systems security and provides faster customer support for end users.
MC4 is the medical information system the Army fields to enable lifelong medical recording, streamlined medical logistics and situational awareness for Army tactical forces. In January, six computers and two servers used in an aid station in Djibouti, Africa, became the first MC4 systems to successfully connect to a server supported by the USAREUR LAB for remote maintenance.
“Our distribution method is a proven solution to support all Logistics Standard Army Management Information Systems (STAMIS) connected to the European network,” said Donald Walter, STAMIS information assurance manager. “We use commercial-off-the-shelf products to monitor 24-7 approximately 2,400 systems used throughout nine countries on two continents. Within minutes, we can update hundreds of systems. Today, MC4 systems receive updates immediately, while users experience little to no interruption.”
After demonstrating the remote maintenance capability in Djibouti, MC4 added the 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment’s systems, in Hohenfels, Germany, to the network. As additional units in Europe begin utilizing MC4 systems in garrison aid stations, remote connections will become a standardized process.
“The new distribution model enhances customer support and frees up man hours,” said Lt. Col. William Geesey, MC4 product manager. “Systems administrators won’t have to physically touch each machine to deliver a new patch or troubleshoot an issue.”
In 2010, MC4 integrated systems onto the Afghanistan Enterprise Network, enabling remote maintenance to more than 200 laptops utilized by 19 units dispersed amongst seven forward operating bases (FOBs) in Bagram, Camp Phoenix and Kabul.
“Remote access to these systems helps units “train as they fight,” Geesey said. “They can use the systems, instead of pen and paper, in garrison aid stations to document care and technical support staff can better ensure systems remain operational. Adding MC4 to theater enterprise networks will continue paying dividends in the long term as we field upgrades and deliver new technology to the war fighter.”
Since 2003, MC4 has enabled the capture of more than 15 million electronic patient encounters in the combat zone. MC4 has also trained 57,000 medical staff and commanders, and fielded 46,000 systems to 750 units with medical personnel, to include Army National Guard and Reserve units, and active component divisional units throughout 19 countries.