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    Realigning medical maintenance recordkeeping to improve visibility, efficiency

    Patient monitor maintenance

    Photo By C.J. Lovelace | Sgt. Jason Paglia and Staff Sgt. Nora Martinez perform maintenance on patient monitors...... read more read more

    FORT DETRICK, MD, UNITED STATES

    11.27.2023

    Story by C.J. Lovelace 

    U.S. Army Medical Logistics Command

    FORT DETRICK, Md. -- Starting in the first quarter of 2024, U.S. Army units will be able to track sustainment-level maintenance operations of their medical devices in real time through Global Combat Support System-Army, or GCSS-Army.

    The change aims to increase visibility and transparency of maintenance work orders at the unit level, as well as realign the overall function under the same supply system as other Army commodities, according to Chief Warrant Officer 3 Richard Hendricks.

    “It’s a very important improvement because the equipment status record, or ESR, is the commander’s go-to metric,” said Hendricks, who has led the effort for the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency’s Medical Maintenance Management Directorate, or M3D.

    “Whenever a commander is asked, ‘can you go to war?’ They look at their ESR to determine the readiness of their equipment,” he said. “Now, they can get that information in real-time with the click of a button through GCSS-Army, right there from their dashboard.”

    USAMMA, a direct reporting unit to Army Medical Logistics Command, operates three stateside Medical Maintenance Operations Divisions, or MMODs, under M3D.

    Each site -- located in Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania; Hill Air Force Base in Utah; and Tracy, California -- specializes in and serves as a technical center of excellence for different types of medical devices, such as medical imaging, pulmonary and clinical lab equipment.

    Since its creation in 2019, AMLC, the Army’s Life Cycle Management Command for medical materiel, has been driving toward needed changes for the MEDLOG enterprise, including ways to improve total asset visibility throughout the operational force.

    In the past, when a unit needed repairs or maintenance for a medical device, they would send in the equipment with a work order to the MMOD. Technicians would need to create another work order in the Theater Enterprise-Wide Logistics System, or TEWLS, which has been the system of record for the Army Medical Department.

    The MMOD would then have to “swivel chair” between the two systems -- GCSS-Army and TEWLS -- and provide updates on the job status directly to the unit, Hendricks explained.

    “Now, we’re moving everything into one system of record, where we can update the notes and they will be able to track everything in real time,” he said. “They can go into the work order and see what we’re doing to their pieces of equipment, and it will update their ESR.”

    By consolidating orders under one umbrella, it will enable the MMODs to better prepare for incoming work before devices arrive on site, allowing for preordering needed parts for anticipated maintenance or repair, said Jose Vasquez, director at MMOD-Hill.

    “It’ll give us that ability to be proactive in our mission, which results in better turnaround times for our customers and increased visibility throughout the process,” he said.

    Hendricks, a recent graduate of the Strategic Medical Logistics Fellows Program, said moving away from TEWLS and into GCSS-Army also will fix one glaring shortfall in the current way of doing business -- accountability.

    “It’s a big issue because our higher headquarters can’t see what we’re doing -- there’s no manhours, no parts, nothing shown in G-Army,” he said. “So, when they’re looking at funding and where to allocate money … they see nothing because we’re in TEWLS.

    “That was one of the driving factors to move us over into the system of record with the rest of the Army,” Hendricks said.

    With the foundation for the program set, Hendricks said the focus now centers on training MMOD personnel and educating customers about the transition and how to navigate the new process.

    “We need them to know that we need that work order in G-Army,” he said. “The customer will go into their order and put in our work center. Once they hit save under our work center, then that order is sent to us at USAMMA.”

    Recent pilot tests of the new process have been successful, Hendricks said, supporting work orders for medical logistics companies based out of Fort Liberty, North Carolina, and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

    “We’re excited to see this effort put into action in the coming year,” M3D Director Jorge Magana said. “This is another step toward total asset visibility, increased efficiency and a new level of transparency, as well as a great improvement to help AMLC and USAMMA better represent the value we provide to the Army MEDLOG enterprise. We are continuously looking for ways to improve and update our systems to better align ourselves with other Army commodities.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 11.27.2023
    Date Posted: 11.27.2023 10:16
    Story ID: 458532
    Location: FORT DETRICK, MD, US

    Web Views: 137
    Downloads: 0

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