Medical ADP Systems:

Analysis of Technical Aspects of DOD's Composite Health Care System

IMTEC-88-27: Published: Jul 11, 1988. Publicly Released: Jul 11, 1988.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO evaluated the system-level specifications and medical facility work-load data for the Department of Defense's (DOD) Composite Health Care System (CHCS) acquisition.

GAO found that DOD needed to perform additional cost-effectiveness analysis on four system-level specifications relating to: (1) costing all computer operators as contractor-provided, although DOD intended to use its own personnel under certain circumstances; (2) 2-hour maintenance response times; (3) 30-day on-line data retention for inpatients; and (4) 2-year on-line data retention for outpatients. GAO also found that: (1) from 1984 to 1986, the number of outpatient visits decreased by 5 to 14 percent in all three services' medical facilities and varied widely at individual facilities; and (2) unanticipated variations at individual military medical facilities could result in excessive or inadequate computer resources.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Cost comparison of government versus contractor operators was made from data at two CHCS Beta sites. The use of government operators resulted in savings of $140,000. As a result of recognized savings, DMSSC and the services plan to incorporate government operators whenever feasible in the CHCS project. Use of government operators at all CHCS sites is a high-priority consideration.

    Recommendation: To ensure that CHCS meets the needs of the military medical community in a cost-effective manner, the Secretary of Defense should direct the program office, during the operational test and evaluation phase, to determine potential savings from using government personnel instead of contractor-supplied computer operators by acquiring and analyzing data on the circumstances where this substitution should occur.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: This older recommendation is being closed out because a more recent product (IMTEC-93-11) contains the same recommendation.

    Recommendation: To ensure that CHCS meets the needs of the military medical community cost-effectively, the Secretary of Defense should direct the program office, during the operational test and evaluation phase, to evaluate and determine, during the cost-benefit analysis, the appropriate parameters for maintenance response times and on-line data retention.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Prior to installing CHCS in medical treatment facilities, the contractor is conducting site surveys and collecting current work load data to size the various equipment configurations which would best support the facilities. Since site surveys are already required by contract, no modification to the procurement is necessary.

    Recommendation: To ensure that CHCS meets the needs of the military medical community in a cost-effective manner, the Secretary of Defense should direct the program office, during the operational test and evaluation phase, to monitor and analyze the work load at military medical facilities to ensure that, to the extent possible, changes in work load are anticipated and planned for. After completing these analyses, the program office should modify the procurement accordingly.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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