|Photo by: Goodfellow Air Force Base|
The Wright-Patterson Air Force Base medical facility in Dayton, Ohio is getting a major IT makeover. The Information Systems Flight at the base is an important part of the 88th Medical Support Squadron and it helps the medical wing of the base maintain patient care by providing information technology support.
The duties of the Information Systems Flight involve maintenance of network servers, managing IT acquisitions, as well as assuring that the facility's 2,500 computers are secure from network vulnerabilities. Wright-Patterson is hoping to install a Radio Frequency Identification system, and RFID Journal (Launched on Mar. 1, 2002, it is the world's first independent media company devoted solely to radio frequency identification and its many business applications. Today, RFID Journal is the world's leading source of RFID news and insights.) explains that this particular system works by installing a RFID tag or sticker [microchip] which is attached to the equipment, then wirelessly transmits an identifier, such as a serial number, of an object by using radio waves.
The system efficiently tracks all of the IT equipment being used around the hospital monitoring for any abnormalities. An example of an abnormality is when someone wrongly removes equipment that has a RFID sticker. The system will detect the said unauthorized movement.
Another new feature is the Vocera Platform which replaces the need for pagers. Vocera is a medical information-friendly call and text system that enables quick access for medical facility workers to view critical test results, change a patients’ status, and obtain and clarify orders. Vocera also comes equipped with alerts and clinical alarms.
A third new feature is a digital queuing system called Q-Flow. Q-Flow is slated to replace Wright-Patterson’s current prescription distribution setup. According to Navy.mil, other medical facilities that have switched to Q-Flow were able to more efficiently monitor staffing needs, improve patient wait times, and handle prescription sizes and allotments.
In the near future, the Information Systems Flight will be operating under the Medical Community of Interest which provides access to the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs users. This, according to the Defense Information Systems Agency.
However, Christopher Mattox, chief of Systems Operations for the 88th MDSS Information Systems Flight, said: “Since we are in the planning stages to move to Med COI, we have to see if these new systems will transfer over.” Mattox continued “We manage all the communication functions for the hospital. The 88th Communications Group is our main oversite installation-wise, but our funding comes from the Defense Health Agency and we receive direction from the Air Force Medical Operations Agency.”
There are three sectors within the Information Systems Flight－Plans and Programs－Systems Operations and Systems Administration－Security and Network Management.