Florida National Guard shares knowledge on electronic medical records

Written by  //  July 11, 2012  //  Feature Stories, News

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (July 11, 2012) – The Florida National Guard hosted five health care professionals from the Regional Security System countries of Dominica, Grenada, Antigua, Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines for a subject matter exchange on electronic medical records management, July 11, 2012, in St. Augustine, Fla.

Lt. Col. Dan Mahnke, deputy state surgeon for the Florida National Guard, speaks to health care professionals from the Regional Security System countries of Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Barbados and Antigua during a subject matter exchange on electronic medical records management in St. Augustine, Fla., July 11, 2012. The National Guard's State Partnership Program facilitated the exchange to promote improved continuity of care for Caribbean security forces. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Blair Heusdens

Representatives from the Florida National Guard’s Office of the State Surgeon presented briefings on several different medical readiness management systems that are used by the U.S. military.

The U.S. Department of Defense and the National Guard use several electronic medical records management systems to track medical records for service members. The countries of the Regional Security System are looking at options to potentially move towards electronic medical records management in the future.

Electronic medical records provide several benefits, including the ability to check for potential medication interactions, enabling more than one person to view the record at a time or the ability to view a medical record of a patient that may be far away.

“Electronic medical records help providers in that they have easy access to past medical histories of their patients,” said 1st Lt. Alejandro Navarro, a physician’s assistant with the 44th Civil Support Team. “It helps patients by ensuring that everything they come in for is logged in their record and they will always have access to it.”

For countries where health care facilities are few, patients must sometimes travel to another island for treatment and paper records must follow the patient, having an electronic medical record system might allow for better patient tracking and treatment.

“It would be ideal to have something to send with the patient when we have to send them to another facility for treatment,” said Capt. Sarfraz Welsh from Grenada.

For the Florida National Guard, electronic medical records are just one way that the organization is improving medical readiness while also meeting the health and well-being needs of Soldiers and their Families.