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MC4 Celebrates 15 Years

By MC4 Strategic Communications Office

Soldiers from the 1st Armored Division, including Private Coralie Thomas (front), a health care specialist, of Charlie Company, 47th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, participate in MC4 training to learn about the EMR 2.2.0.0 software upgrades. (Photo courtesy of Sgt. 1st Class TaWanna Starks, 1st Armored Division Public Affairs)
Soldiers from the 1st Armored Division, including Private Coralie Thomas (front), a health care specialist, of Charlie Company, 47th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, participate in MC4 training to learn about the EMR 2.2.0.0 software upgrades. (Photo courtesy of Sgt. 1st Class TaWanna Starks, 1st Armored Division Public Affairs)

FORT DETRICK, Md. – Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) celebrates its 15th anniversary today. Since its inception in 1999, MC4 continues to support deployed Soldiers by enabling Army medical staff to capture electronic medical records (EMRs) for all care rendered to Soldiers.

MC4 was first deployed to Kuwait in 2003, in advance of Operation Iraqi Freedom at the U.S. Army Surgeon General’s request. More than 500 MC4 laptops were fielded to Kuwait, marking the first time in Army history that Soldier care was electronically documented on the battlefield. To date, MC4 systems have enabled U.S. Army medical providers to capture more than 21.6 million electronic patient encounters.

In 2004, MC4 achieved what is commonly known in the acquisition lifecycle as Milestone C, which effectively permitted MC4 to begin fielding.

“In essence, this milestone gave MC4 legitimacy in the acquisition world,” said Deputy Product Manager Orlando J. Illi, Jr., who was the first federal civilian employee to arrive at MC4 in November 1999, and who has served as the deputy product manager since that time. “Even though MC4 had already fielded systems to Kuwait, when the program received a Full Rate Production Decision Review (FRPDR) in 2005, MC4 was sustaining those systems already fielded and fielding new systems at the same time.”

Receiving approval to field MC4 systems to deployed Army medical units came just in time; in September 2005, 100 MC4 systems were deployed and used by medical professionals caring for the thousands of Army and National Guard Soldiers during Hurricane Katrina disaster relief efforts.

The system was used concurrently to electronically document care provided to civilian victims of the hurricane battered Gulf Coast – a testament to the versatility of the EMR system. MC4 has been used to document military working animal care and on Army vessels during contingency operations.

In the past 15 years, MC4 has received 39 team and individual honors for its unique mission and continued support to Soldiers and deployed medical personnel. In 2008, MC4 was the first PEO-EIS Army Product Management Office and the fifth Army Acquisition Corps affiliated organization to receive the Army Superior Unit Award (ASUA).

“The ASUA is still a significant testament to the value of lifelong EMRs,” Illi said. “All the awards we won before and since are for the injured Soldiers who benefit from having their care electronically documented.”

Lt. Col. Danny J. Morton, MC4’s current product manager, is leading the organization through change to prepare for the future.

“The program cannot rest upon its past successes and must adapt to fiscal austerity,” Morton said. “The final software upgrade, TMIP-J Increment 2, Release 3, or EMR 2.3.0.0, will be delivered to Soldiers in fiscal year 2016 and 2017 and transition to sustainment.

“Now the program seeks to reset its core mission, staffing model and provide support within fiscal constraints,” Morton said. “We further seek opportunities to advance emerging requirements and play a key role in the next generation electronic medical record, cloud/mobile computing, and enhanced systems integration and delivery methods. MC4 will transition and posture for the future."

Posted May 01, 2014