Improving Joint Expeditionary Medical Planning Tools Based on a Patient Flow Approach
RAND PROJECT AIR FORCE SANTA MONICA CA
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The current concept of operations CONOPS for expeditionary medical care emphasizes quickly moving patients to a series of successively more sophisticated medical facilities that provide the patients with the care necessary to ultimately treat their injuries or conditions. This process requires close coordination between the treatment facilities and the evacuation resources that link them. However, the processes and tools currently used in planning for expeditionary medical resources do not fully reflect the current CONOPS. Currently, the capability of treatment facilities is typically measured and expressed in terms of the number of hospital beds in the facility, and aeromedical evacuation capabilities are typically measured and expressed in terms of the number of teams or aircraft available. Thus, planning is not aligned with operational practice and is not well integrated across the full spectrum of echelons and functions. Expressing treatment and evacuation capabilities in terms of such measures as the numbers of beds and aircraft has two disadvantages. The first is that such measures are static measures of capacity Beds and aircraft are fundamentally measures of the numbers of items. However, what is of concern to planners is not the number of items at each facility or function but rather the capability that can be provided by those resources. The second disadvantage is that the treatment and evacuation functions use different units of measure. With treatment resources being measured in beds and evacuation assets being measured in aircraft, it is not readily apparent how many aircraft are necessary to provide support to a field hospital of a given size.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Medical Facilities, Equipment and Supplies
- Escape, Rescue and Survival