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Invited Commentary
January 2016

The Power of Advanced Capability and Informed Policy

Author Affiliations
  • 1US Combat Casualty Care Research Program, US Army, Fort Detrick, Maryland
  • 2The Norman M. Rich Department of Surgery, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland
JAMA Surg. 2016;151(1):25. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.3111

In characterizing the effect of a 2009 mandate to reduce medical evacuation times in Afghanistan, in this issue of JAMA Surgery, Kotwal and colleages1 demonstrate the effectiveness of combining advanced trauma care capability with informed policy. Unlike any report before it, this study demonstrates that one without the other—capability without policy or policy without capability—results in compromised success. In this case, the principle applies to success of the US military’s trauma system that endeavors to save lives and improve recovery of personnel injured in defense of the nation.

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