The Department of Defense faces critical questions related to the U.S. healthcare system:

  • Is the National Disaster Medical System ready to care for casualties from a large overseas military conflict?
  • Are there enough staff? Enough beds? Is there adequate military and civilian healthcare interoperability?
  • What changes are needed to improve NDMS interoperability and health system preparedness?

The current pandemic has shown the medical surge capacity constraints of civilian healthcare systems. Many of these civilian systems, as NDMS partners, will be relied on to help care for the high volume of combat casualties anticipated from a large overseas conflict. This expected medical surge requirement of our nation's healthcare system has received increased attention given the challenge of the current pandemic response.

To address this potential security threat, the National Center was designated by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs as the Department of Defense (DoD) lead for the DoD NDMS Pilot Program.

Phase I of the NDMS Pilot Program is the Military-Civilian NDMS Interoperability Study (MCNIS). MCNIS will inform the Pilot of immediate and long-term changes needed to strengthen the NDMS in order to provide definitive care for combat casualties. These findings will guide Pilot Implementation (Phase II), expected to commence on September 30, 2021. Phase III will consist of reporting the results of the Pilot and planning for Pilot expansion.

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