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Quality Medical Care

Pride in our system and the quality of care we provide is evident in every military hospital or clinic. But, even with our successes, there is not a pervasive sense of self-satisfaction. Instead, our medical leaders are focused on how to improve even those services that are working well and surely to repair that which is broken. Good is not good enough. Our goal is excellence in all we do. We have briefed our stakeholders on the significant accomplishments of our clinicians – in Baghdad, Bagram, Germany, and back here at home. The data are important to know and understand, and the details show our ability to continuously improve and to take what is working and make it better. A few examples:

The Lowest Disease, Non-Battle Injury (DNBI) Rate Ever
As a testament to medical readiness and preparedness, the Military Health System successfully addressed the single largest contributor to loss of forces—disease and non-battle injuries. Current DNBI rates for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom are the lowest ever reported: five percent per week and four percent per week, respectively. The following chart depicts the DNBI rates in previous operations compared to Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The Lowest Death-to-Wounded Ratio Ever
Today, after service members are injured on the battlefield, they have the greatest likelihood of surviving their wounds than ever before. In Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, about 92 percent of seriously-injured service members survive their wounds – compared to just 78 percent during World War II and 84 percent during the Vietnam War. This can be attributed to a number of important advances in training and technology:

  • Improved medical care during the pivotal first "golden hour."
  • Combat medics are certified emergency medical technicians and individual soldiers receive more buddy-care training so the wounded can stay alive until first responders reach them on the battlefield.
  • More advanced equipment on hand such as new hemorrhage control dressings and tourniquets.
  • Finally, care at the first treatment facility is greatly improved through better resuscitation techniques and equipment.

Reduced Time to Evacuation and Definitive Tertiary Care
The Military Health System improved our process for moving patients rapidly: employing airborne intensive-care units, expediting the evacuation of service members from forward-deployed surgery to stateside definitive care. Today, our wounded warriors often arrive back in the United States within three to four days of initial injury, increasing their chances for survival.
 

Disease, Non-Battle Injury Rates

Quality Medical Care
Caring for America's Heroes
Conducting Diplomacy through Health
Medical Recruitment & Retention
Advancing Medical Research
Health Info – Accessible to Provider and Patient
Getting the MHS Aligned to Best Serve Our People
Improving TRICARE Delivery and Coverage
Communications: A New Transparency