CDW Healthcare integral to efforts of MED-1 mobile treatment facility

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CDW Healthcare donated mission-critical IT infrastructure solutions and services to Carolinas Medical Center’s MED-1, a patented mobile treatment facility that provides comprehensive on-site medical care in response to disasters and mass casualties. The newly upgraded facility, which consists of two 53-foot tractor trailers, one of which expands to more than 1,000 square feet of treatment space with 134 beds, was unveiled at HIMSS07 in New Orleans.

The donated solutions designed and complemented by CDW healthcare systems engineers in partnership with the MED-1 staff includes Voice over IP networking hardware and phones, a positive patient ID tracking systems, PACS infrastructure technology and mobile computing devices. The improved IY infrastructure will help MED-1 expand the scope and effectiveness of care it delivers. The CDW Healthcare team worked with the MED-1 staff to understand what IT elements would most effectively boost mission performance.

Thomas Blackwell, MD, medical director at The Center for Prehospital Medicine at Carolinas Medical Center, originally conceived of the project in 1998 when the facility started building a counter-terrorism team. The idea was to create a mass casualty transit bus to transport several patients to the hospital at one time. However, Blackwell and his team realized that local hospitals usually are overwhelmed during natural disasters so it would be better to keep the patients at the scene. After September 11 and the anthrax scare, Blackwell received a grant to create the MED-1.

The two trailers are expandable pods. One serves as a support truck to transport equipment and then serve as a command center and a dorm for staff. The entire system takes 18 minutes to set up. A tent can be attached to provide another 200 environmentally-controlled beds.

“Med-1’s unique operational environment coupled with the scope of our upgrade requirements demanded a highly tailored implantation, which the CDW healthcare team readily provided,” said Blackwell. “By working in close consultation with our IT staff, the CDW healthcare team used its depth of knowledge and range of product offerings to design an integrated solution that will improve the quality of clinical treatment from patients checkin to point of care.”

The MED-1 was deployed to Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina and treated 7,500 patients in seven weeks. It also was deployed to New Orleans for Mardi Gras 2006 for two weeks where the team treated 575 patients. Blackwell said the solution can be geared to specific tasks such as screenings and also is the ideal solution for providing healthcare to rural, isolated and underserved areas.