Tuesday, April 28, 2009

U.S. Military Using Business Intelligence To Track Wounded Soldiers

I read in Information Week recently, an article entitled U.S. Military Using Business Intelligence To Track Wounded Soldiers, written by Marianne Kolbasuk McGee, about the use of BI tools from the U.S. Department of Defense. That is an interesting example of the use of BI. Below is a summary, with the highlights of the article:

The U.S. Department of Defense is using business intelligence tools to help track and monitor injured and sick military personnel as they're transported for medical care globally. The U.S. Transportation Command, which operates under the Defense Department, is responsible for deployment and distribution of military assets and equipment globally. They are using Information Builders' WebFocus business intelligence tools to improve planning of medical care for and monitoring of injured or sick military personnel while they're in transit.

The Transcom Regulating and Command and Control Evacuation System (Trac2es) includes decision support, reporting, and analysis tools used for tracking and coordinating movement of patients for medical care, said Lt. Col. Keith Lostroh, functional program manager of Trac2es.

The business intelligence tools are helping the U.S. military track soldiers who are injured and need to be evacuated from battle in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as military personnel stationed elsewhere across the globe who need to travel more than 100 miles for less-urgent medical care.

By entering into the system critical information about a patient, including demographic data and clinical data about the severity of an injury, military personnel can make better informed decisions about things like whether it's safe for the patient to fly to another facility for care and how quickly that needs to happen. On the other end, the clinical personnel use the system to have better insight into the kind of treatment the patient will need upon arrival.

The system also allows the Department of Defense to generate reports about military injuries, how many patients were injured, how many of them required flights, and the services they needed.

The need for a system like Trac2es was identified years ago. "During the Gulf War, there wasn't good visibility for in-transit [patients]," Lostroh said. Trac2es has about 2,500 users now, and that will grow to about 3,000 users globally, including medical clerks, nurses, doctors, and military leaders.

The system provides a "view of individual" in transit, but also has capabilities for the military to track and analyze "bigger-picture trends" in real time.

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