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MEDLOG Blog

Medical Maintenance – Integration to Enable Readiness

Feb. 7, 2024 | By CW5 Lee Nelson, Command Chief Warrant Officer, Army Medical Logistics Command
Medical Maintenance – Integration to Enable Readiness
 
The Army Medical Logistics Command, through its MEDLOG in Campaigning (MiC) initiative, is making great strides to integrate medical materiel management and maintenance operations into Army-wide systems, generating a common operating picture of readiness for commanders at echelon.

To understand how important these changes are to readiness, we need to first understand some of the gaps that existed in the old processes. 

In the past, units with medical devices would seek, as directed by policy, and receive support from local medical treatment facility (MTFs) designated as the Installation Medical Maintenance Activity (IMMA) or directly ship the items to one of three MMOD for repair and return support.  Under this process, services to medical devices were documented in systems outside of the approved Army maintenance information system, often resulting in a lack of medical device readiness visibility to Army leaders.

The lack of visibility of work orders in a consolidated system of record created multiple challenges. Mainly, analysis of true medical maintenance requirements could not be provided to leaders to make informed decisions. For example, leaders did not have true visibility of how man-hours were spent on repair and services of medical devices. They could not project what repair parts were required. There was no way to compute the down time of medical devices, as well as the Total Logistics Response Time throughout the continuum of support.

In 2021, the Army published an executive order (EXORD 138-21, Global Combat Support System-Army GCSS-Army), which required all maintenance-significant medical devices be added to GCSS-Army and have maintenance plans applied. This order required units to add maintenance-significant medical devices to the property book and have maintenance plans applied.

The suspense for the EXORD was Sept. 30, 2022, and many units have complied.  However, some units are still struggling. AMLC offers a resource to help. Units should contact the AMLC Logistics Assistance Program (LAP) at https://forms.osi.apps.mil/r/L8Q7HP3yn4 and a LAP representative will provide assistance.

The visibility of medical devices is helping inform the development of Home-station Medical Maintenance Support (HMMS). The HMMS program is designed to support units that do not have organic medical maintainers (68A) or are not geographically located with their organic medical maintenance support activity. Units that meet the necessary criteria will perform the operator Preventive Maintenance Checks and Services (PMCS) and document deficiencies in GCSS-Army. Then they can open a work order in GCSS-A and coordinate to send the work to the HMMS site or request a team come to their location. Options are dependent on the volume of work and devices requiring support. 

A proof of concept for HMMS will start at Fort Liberty in early 2025, with three more sites being planned at the end of that year.  A continuous analysis of workload data and device densities from GCSS-Army will inform the fully operational number and locations of sites.

Another change to the medical maintenance enterprise that is improving the visibility of medical device readiness is the AMLC’s Medical Maintenance Operations Divisions (MMODs) move from using the Theater Enterprise-Wide Logistics System (TEWLS) maintenance module to GCSS-Army for repair and return work orders. Historically, when supported customers, units, sought support from the MMODs, they would ship their medical devices and use paper work orders. Those same customers would receive updates through emails. This practice proved challenging in providing units real-time medical device statuses. 

Today, units digitally evacuate through GCSS-Army to the appropriate MMOD work center. This change aims to increase visibility and transparency of sustainment level work orders at the unit level, as well as realign the overall function under the same enterprise resource planning solution as other Army commodities. Our goal is to increase visibility for the units and capture the entire maintenance lifecycle of a medical device. Additionally, this change enables commanders to see in real-time and in one system the maintenance status of their all their authorized and on hand devices, both at the field and sustainment level.

Implementation of GCSS-A at the MMODs brings the visibility of maintenance of medical devices in line with other commodities for Commanders. The HMMS proof of concept seeks to provide units with medical device maintenance support as far forward as possible without having to evacuate medical devices that can be repaired locally.  Collaboratively, these initiatives will bring greater visibility to commanders and increase unit medical device readiness across the force.