Saving lives by getting the right information to the right place at the right time.
Documenting healthcare in an operational medicine (OpMed) environment has always been a challenge. Despite advancements in healthcare technology that have changed the way medicine is practiced in hospitals and clinics, U.S. Navy corpsmen and U.S. Army medics operating in the field often find themselves facing limitations not that different from ones their peers faced generations ago.
In a combat environment, there’s still the potential to be called to treat a patient without knowing the source of an injury or what care, if any, has already been provided. To complicate matters, these frontline professionals may be forced to act without access to a patient’s medical history or knowledge of anything—vital stats, drug interactions, allergies—that could guide them toward the appropriate course of care.
While the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA)’s Joint Operational Medicine Information Systems (JOMIS) team has had success implementing robust solutions for the Military Health System (MHS), including MHS Genesis, a modern electronic health record (EHR) solution, there are still situations where it’s not possible or too cumbersome to move documentation along with the patient.
As battlefield scenarios evolve, the military’s OpMed community will face increasing challenges to operate alongside combatant forces, and the need for modernized and interoperable communications that support OpMed will only continue to grow.
With the Joint Force modernizing and connecting digitally across all warfare domains to enable Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) operations in accordance with the National Defense Strategy, an interoperable medical solution is not just a priority, it’s an imperative.
Peraton’s current Health IT solutions are commercially proven, rooted in open architecture and standards, and configurable to meet specific OpMed stakeholder needs—interoperability, agility, scalability, and resiliency. Implementation can provide the OpMed community with capabilities that align with JADC2 architectures to support the current theater environment and any potential peer/near-peer conflict in which domain superiority is not a given.
Responding to what has often seemed an insurmountable challenge and innovating in this space requires thought leadership that can keep the mission goal in sight.
“To get the right information, to the right place, at the right time. To save lives,” said Dr. Colin Chinn, chief medical officer, Global Health & Financial Solutions sector. “That’s what we’re trying to solve right now.”
Chinn is uniquely suited to understand the challenges. Prior to joining Peraton, Chinn, a retired U.S. Navy rear admiral, was the Joint Staff surgeon, where he served as chief medical advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He brings a deep understanding of the needs of care at every level, and his insights are driving the innovative solutions Peraton is developing to help the MHS improve warfighter health outcomes.
Chinn and his colleagues envision an OpMed environment that enables care without boundaries through the deployment of cloud-based solutions that can enable full capability across all echelons of care, regardless of the availability of communications.
“In a contested environment, you have to ensure the same level of operability whether you’re in low or no comms capabilities,” said Chinn. “Likewise, if you’re talking about accessing an EHR on our ships at sea or submarines. In that domain there’s no guarantee that we’re going to be able to freely exchange information—not just medical information, but all information.”
Over the past two years, Peraton has evaluated the challenges facing the MHS in current and future OpMed environments and invested strategically in capabilities that can support the future health of the Joint Force. During that same period, Peraton grew sevenfold through acquisitions that provide the company with a strategic advantage to innovate at scale in this space.
“Today our solution architects and engineers are learning from each other, finding commonalities and working together to come up with robust, company-wide answers,” said Chinn. “We’re working with teams from multiple business sectors and with Peraton Labs. Everyone is discovering new capabilities: ‘Hey, are you doing that? You already have that solution? I can use that.’”
By addressing technology gaps in today’s solutions, Peraton is developing future solutions that will provide the OpMed practitioners with accurate, reliable and usable information, enabling the MHS to deliver care without boundaries.