Medical ADP Systems:

Composite Health Care System Is Not Ready to Be Deployed

IMTEC-92-54: Published: May 20, 1992. Publicly Released: May 20, 1992.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Frank Reilly
(202) 512-6252
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

GAO provided information about the Department of Defense's (DOD) progress in developing and testing the Composite Health Care System (CHCS), which is intended to integrate a wide array of data needed by military physicians and facilities in managing and treating patients.

GAO found that: (1) DOD wants to deploy the first phase of CHCS before addressing important capabilities involving the identification, elimination, and prevention of multiple patient records and record archival and retrieval; (2) those capabilities are critical to physician acceptance and use of CHCS and the system's ability to support clinicians' inpatient activities; (3) DOD has delayed the incorporation of inpatient order-entry capability until the second phase deployment scheduled for 1994, but faces a major developmental risk in its design and testing; (4) inadequacies in operational test and evaluation (OT&E) planning and implementation yielded inconclusive test results that may not be representative of the environment in which CHCS is to be deployed; (5) DOD is attempting to address 17 fundamental CHCS weaknesses identified in spite of the OT&E inadequacies; (6) CHCS life-cycle costs exceed the congressionally established $1.6-billion ceiling by more than $400 million; and (7) DOD has had difficulty in estimating and validating CHCS benefits, with five recent benefit studies estimating cost savings ranging between $1.7 billion and $3.8 billion. GAO believes that CHCS is not ready for deployment, since major deficiencies still exist in system capabilities and the scope and quality of testing have been inadequate.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. 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 help ensure the success of CHCS once it is deployed, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs to defer approval to deploy CHCS until a complete and supportable cost-benefit analysis has been performed.

    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 help ensure the success of CHCS once it is deployed, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs to defer approval to deploy CHCS until a sound testing methodology has been developed and carried out for those parts of the OT&E that were inadequate.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. 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 help ensure the success of CHCS once it is deployed, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs to defer approval of CHCS until the capability to archive and retrieve patient data has been successfully field tested.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. 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 help ensure the success of CHCS once it is deployed, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs to defer approval to deploy CHCS until procedures have been established to prevent the creation of multiple patient records.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  5. 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 help ensure the success of CHCS once it is deployed, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs to defer approval to deploy CHCS until the ability to identify and remove multiple patient records has been incorporated into the software version of CHCS that DOD intends to deploy beyond the designated test sites.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In a Senate Committee on Appropriations conference report dated September 17, 1992, conferees directed Defense to submit a report, not later than June 30, 1993, to detail the status of the inpatient order-entry computer application--to include its impact on Defense's plans to field CHCS. In response to this congressional directive, on July 7, 1993, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs submitted to the House and Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommitees a June 1993 report entitled "A Report on the Status of the Composite Health Care System Inpatient Order Entry Computer Application."

    Recommendation: Because an efficient method for entering physician inpatient orders is significant to the overall success of CHCS, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs to update the Senate and House Committees on Armed Services periodically on the progress being made on the development of a solution to the inpatient order-entry problem.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 26, 2016

Sep 15, 2016

Sep 14, 2016

Sep 8, 2016

Jun 29, 2016

Jun 22, 2016

Jun 10, 2016

Jun 9, 2016

Jun 2, 2016

May 25, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here