How Useful Are Medical E-Databases on Deployment?

An Australian Army Bushmaster PMV in Afghanistan
An Australian Army Bushmaster PMV in Afghanistan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Research Paper Title

Special Operations Task Group Regimental Aid Post Presentation.

Background

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) in Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan, is supported by a Primary Health Care Team (PHCT) which provided health care through its Regimental Aid Post (RAP).

Purpose

To identify and analyse the types of injuries and illnesses for which SOTG personnel are seeking primary health care assistance  in Tarin Kowt.

Method

An electronic record was kept of all presentations by ADF personnel to the SOTG RAP from 28 Feb to 26 Jun 2010.

Results

There were 1074 presentations during the study period, with the most common reasons for presentation being Medical Examinations (214 presentations), Gastrointestinal Disorders (191), Upper Respiratory Tract Infections (URTI) & Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Disorders (164), Injuries (117), Dermatological Disorders (105) and Musculoskeletal Disorders (103). Trends in the incidence of presentations during the study period were identified, with URTI & ENT Disorders noted to be more prevalent during the earlier stages of the study period, and Medical Examinations, Gastrointestinal Disorders, Injuries and Musculoskeletal Disorders all occurring more frequently during the second half of the study period.

Conclusion

These findings suggest that greater emphasis needs to be given to injury prevention and hygiene maintenance during deployments, particularly during the later stages of the deployment cycle, and highlight the importance of medical personnel utilising an electronic database to record patient contacts when deployed.

Source: Quinn, T.W. & Colgrove, N. (2010) Special Operations Task Group Regimental Aid Post Presentation, Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan: February – June 2010. Journal of Military and Veteran’s Health. 19(3).

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