Lapses in using a digital medical-record system for tracking wounded soldiers have led to medical mistakes and delays in care, and have kept thousands of injured troops from getting benefits, according to former defense and military medical officials.
The Defense Department's inability to get all hospitals to use the system has routinely forced thousands of wounded soldiers to endure long waits for treatment, the officials said, and exposed others to needless testing.
Several department officials said the problem may have played a role in the suicide of a soldier last year after he was taken to Fort Lewis in Washington state from Iraq. His intentions to kill himself were clearly documented in his digital medical record from overseas, but doctors at Fort Lewis did not consult the file and released him, according to department records and defense officials.
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