5-20. OTHER HOSPITALIZATION CONSIDERATIONS
a. To thoroughly understand our hospitalization and evacuation system, one
must appreciate the meaning of two control techniques--medical regulating and the
evacuation policy--because they so greatly influence medical operations.
b. Where an evacuation system is delivering patients to more than one medical
installation, the control function becomes very important. If a patient is to receive the
best available care, he must be evacuated to the hospital that at the time is best able to
meet his needs. The technique of control that insures this event is called medical
regulating. Medical regulating in hospitals is accomplished in the patient administration
branch by the patient administration officer or some other person so designated.
c. The basic requirements of normal medical regulating are knowledge of
available beds, surgical capabilities, and nursing capabilities. Armed with this
information, the medical regulator controls the flow of patients to insure proper
distribution of cases among the hospitals to prevent or minimize the effects of surgical
backlogs and overloading of facilities. Medical regulating is discussed further in
d. The modular concept reflected in the CSH assists the patient evacuation
system, in that the capability of the hospital can be increased or decreased, depending
upon the availability and utilization of expansion and augmentation modules. For
example, the command and control unit for hospitals employed with the force can
exercise module cross-attachment actions to provide reinforcement on a short-term
basis for those units experiencing unusually heavy patient workloads. The length of the
reinforcement is determined by the combat situation.
e. The evacuation policy is closely related to medical regulating. This policy
establishes which patients will be held for definitive care and which must be
programmed for further evacuation to the next level of care. The evacuation policy,
stated in days, represents the maximum period of allowable hospitalization. Any patient
who can be expected to return to duty within the stated policy (period) is retained for
definitive care. Any patient that cannot be expected to be returned to duty within the
stated policy is programmed for evacuation as soon as his condition and transportation
facilities will permit.
a. The evacuation units usually found in corps are the medical ambulance, air
ambulance, and collecting companies. Some of these units are used in the
communications zone as well as in the combat zone; however, when they are employed
in the COMMZ they are assigned to the theater Army MEDCOM rather than the corps
medical brigade. Before we discuss these resources in detail, there are several
fundamental considerations concerning evacuation of patients that we should explore.