Linux in Government: Open Source Innovation within the DoD

    Date28 Jun 2004
    CategoryGovernment
    3645
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    Prior to implementing an integrated software solution for its hospitals in 1993, the military experienced bottlenecks in its computer services. Each branch of the armed services used different legacy systems and manual procedures to control the flow of medical supplies and equipment, facilities, contractors and record keeping. Then, the Department of Defense (DoD) automated the processes with a common standard platform to conduct medical logistics for every branch of service. When you manage as many hospitals and health-care facilities as the military does, standards-based solutions and coordinated automation are essential. . . . Prior to implementing an integrated software solution for its hospitals in 1993, the military experienced bottlenecks in its computer services. Each branch of the armed services used different legacy systems and manual procedures to control the flow of medical supplies and equipment, facilities, contractors and record keeping. Then, the Department of Defense (DoD) automated the processes with a common standard platform to conduct medical logistics for every branch of service. When you manage as many hospitals and health-care facilities as the military does, standards-based solutions and coordinated automation are essential.

    The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs embraced what is referred to as the DoD information superiority initiative. Simply stated, as service members are deployed into various theaters of operations, new and better standards became essential. That's where the Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support (DMLSS) program comes into play. The DMLSS System is an automated information system used by the four major branches of the service to provide medical logistics support to military hospitals and other medical facilities.

    DMLSS provides the four services with a common, standard platform for conducting medical logistics. It provides end-to-end information technology that enables the services to order and receive products and services electronically as well as to create and release invoices for payment. DMLSS also provides record keeping services, such as inventory control. The system complies with the accounting standards of the DoD, allowing the Comptroller's office to more efficiently compile its financial records. Finally, DMLSS serves as a source of record for DoD medical assets.
    Open-Source Components

    The Program Management Office (PMO) for DMLSS is located in Falls Church, Virginia. Continuing development and support facilities exist at Ft. Detrick, Maryland, at the Joint Medical Logistics Functional Development Center. At Ft. Detrick, programmers support open-source components in applications that require cryptography. They open-source components include Stunnel, Apache, ModSSL and OpenSSL.

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