Examinations of Non-Federal Hospital Information Systems
IMTEC-87-21, Jun 30, 1987
GAO studied integrated hospital information systems in non-federal hospitals to aid in the evaluation of the Department of Defense's and the Veterans Administration's efforts to develop and install analogous systems.
GAO found that: (1) 200 or more beds is the optimal size for hospitals to derive significant benefits from an integrated hospital information system; (2) hospitals generally invest only 1 to 1.5 percent of gross revenues on automation; (3) there is an historic lack of price competition or other strong incentives to reduce or contain costs in the hospital industry; (4) there is high turnover among vendors in the hospital information system industry; (5) few studies have measured the costs and benefits of implementing integrated hospital information systems; (6) savings from such systems are currently limited to reducing the clerical work of medical professionals; and (7) medical personnel have resisted the introduction of management information technology. GAO also found that: (1) implementing an integrated hospital information system is difficult and time-consuming; (2) defining user requirements is an important step in acquiring and developing a system; and (3) support of a wide range of hospital activities and ready access to data without repetitive data entry were considered by current users to be the most important factors in selecting a system.