Enhancing Interoperability Among Enlisted Medical Personnel: A Case Study of Military Surgical Technologists
Feb 26, 2009
A Case Study of Military Surgical Technologists
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How feasible is it to consolidate medical training for all of the military services? Currently, the Air Force, Army, and Navy each runs its own school and trains its enlisted medical personnel differently. Following the recommendation of the 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission, a joint medical education and training campus is now being established at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The aim is to collocate the services' three schools and training programs for almost all enlisted medical specialties with a view to consolidating the programs, where feasible. Consolidation will offer both short- and long-term benefits: By reducing the overall costs of training, efficiency will increase; by training medical specialists to a common standard, the interoperability of the services will be enhanced over time.
The RAND Corporation was asked (1) to develop a methodology for defining a joint standard of practice that can be applied to any medical specialty and (2) to consider options for either training individuals to that common standard or obtaining individuals already trained to that standard. The standard of practice is a set of tasks that individuals with a certain level of proficiency must be able to perform, along with an inventory of the knowledge and skills required for competence. The RAND team illustrated the methodology by applying it to the surgical technologist specialty.
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