North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Trauma Registry members from 10 NATO countries and Joint Trauma System staff members pose in front of the Alamo during a meeting in San Antonio December 10-12. Photo by Steven Galvan
By Steven Galvan, Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research
10 JAN 2014
Members from 10 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries met in San Antonio Dec. 10-12, to discuss and create a document that outlines who can access, input and extract data from a newly-established NATO Trauma Registry (NTR).
The document is a critical next step to guide users of a new international database to collect trauma-related data.
The NTR database is modeled off of the Department of Defense Theatre Trauma Registry (DoDTR) system created by the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research Joint Trauma System (JTS).
“The overall aim of the NTR-project is the improvement of providing medical health care to our troops in mission [overseas contingency operation deployment],” said Capt. (Dr.) Andreas Dierich, Deputy Director and Chief of Staff at the Centre of Excellence for Military Medicine in Budapest, Hungary. “The challenge in NATO now is to establish a common system, where all NATO nations share their national collected trauma-related data in a systematically and standardized procedure.”
The registry project, which has been in the development phase since 2006, was turned over to the JTS staff three years ago for completion. According to the JTS Deputy Director, Mary Ann Spott, it was not an easy project.
“It became a political football and ultimately circled the bureaucratic drain for several years,” she said. “It languished in ideas as to who would own it, who would house it, and no development or approval of the actual database elements ever came to fruition.”
In 2010, during a meeting in San Antonio on the JTS and DoDTR, leadership agreed to the project over, include all important artifacts, and create a state-of-the-art product. The NTR has been beta-tested and is now ready to be used once user processes are developed.
“While the software is now in place and operational…it is essential to have a NTR framework document in place which describes responsibilities, eligibilities and restrictions to ensure a proper handling and processing of medical-related data in the NTR,” Dierich added.