Corps’ tactical medical software ensures continuity of care from injury to recovery
By Mathuel Browne, Marine Corps Systems Command
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. -- The Theater Medical Information Program-Marine Corps gives medical personnel access to electronic health records in deployed environments, enabling better treatment for injured and ill Marines at every point of care, from injury to recovery.
TMIP-MC is the Corps’ version of the joint medical software that supports medical providers in tactical environments, developed by the Military Health System’s Joint Operational Medicine Information Systems Program Office. The program’s suite of applications allows medical personnel supporting expeditionary forces access to military-wide electronic health records, the ability to resupply blood, order equipment and supplies, and track patient movements to provide the best medical attention for Marines in need regardless of their location.
Marine Corps Systems Command’s Information Systems and Infrastructure fields TMIP-MC across the Corps, pre-installed on laptop computers. The laptops come equipped with a printer and networking router, which allows expeditionary medical personnel to share important information without a traditional server. This portable hardware suite enables ease of use aboard ships, at remote aid stations, in trauma units and any other medical treatment facility.
“The hardware supporting TMIP-MC is streamlined so that Marines can carry the system into different tactical environments,” said Timothy Davis, MCSC project officer for TMIP-MC. “We field the laptop system and accessories in individual crates, thus decreasing the weight and allowing medical personnel workstations to be scalable, flexible and portable.”
TMIP-MC transmits all information to the joint-managed Theater Medical Data Store which ultimately feeds into the Clinical Data Repository—the data center that stores all electronic health records across the services. TMDS gives deployed medical personnel access to cross-service health records when needed so doctors, nurses and corpsmen can provide better-informed care to injured and ill service members in theater. Access to information like prescriptions, allergies and treatment history helps better inform care for patients.
“With the TMIP-MC, we are essentially taking the hospital out into the field,” said Davis. “Even today, medical care for many Marines who get hurt on the battlefield is still tracked by first responders via paper before being delivered to medical officers and corpsmen at the clinic. This leaves a lot of room for inefficiencies, which is why we work to provide the best means to automate and integrate data.”
TMIP-MC is also compatible with the Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application–Mobile hand-held data application, which allows first responders to immediately document injury, illness and care at the point of injury. Information loaded into AHLTA-M is manually uploaded into TMIP-MC and ultimately linked to the Theater Medical Data Store. Information loaded into AHLTA-M becomes part of a service member’s permanent health record to maintain the highest quality of care for the rest of a Marine’s life.
With TMIP-MC, physicians can reduce the administrative workload and take advantage of software standardization and quality of health care documentation in diverse medical environments, said Navy Cmdr. Thomas Shu, chief medical information officer and United States Marine Corps domain lead for the Logistics Integration Division at Marine Corps Combat Development Command at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.
“Imagine that I am a deployed surgeon putting my hands on a new patient; I would want to know everything that has been done up to that point,” said Shu. “It is TMIP-MC’s job to provide the right information to the right people, so that they can make sound clinical judgements.”
The system was most recently put to the test this summer during Global Medic, the largest joint patient-movement and medical field-training exercise in the Department of Defense, held at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. Throughout the exercise Marine Corps medical support teams demonstrated their use of TMIP-MC in a tactical environment across the full range of medical functions and situations. Outcomes from this training exercise and others will inform the Military Health System as it develops the next-generation military electronic health record system, called MHS GENESIS.
The new platform will be a single, integrated medical and dental health record that connects patient information for all services, across garrison and theatre environments. It will replace several legacy systems, including TMIP-J, AHLTA and the Composite Health Care System, the standard health system for garrison military health care centers.
“Global Medic gave our team the opportunity to demonstrate how the Marine Corps deploys its medical capabilities to an austere, real-world environment,” said Shu. “Understanding how the Marine Corps use TMIP-J will help the Military Health System ensure a seamless roll-out of MHS GENESIS to Marine Corps operational forces.”
PM ISI provides design, acquisition and sustainment of the information systems and framework used to accomplish the Marine Corps warfighting mission.