Use of Information Technology in Hospitals

T-IMTEC-88-4: Published: May 24, 1988. Publicly Released: May 24, 1988.

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GAO discussed the use of information systems in hospitals, comparing the Veterans Administration's (VA) and the Department of Defense's (DOD) systems with commercial systems in nonfederal hospitals. GAO found that: (1) integrated hospital information systems improved patient relations and the accuracy, availability, and timeliness of medical and management information; (2) both VA and DOD concluded that they needed individually developed information systems, since the commercial systems were not sufficiently comprehensive; and (3) VA estimated that its system would cost $925 million, and DOD estimated its system costs at about $1 billion. GAO also found that, although a number of firms could develop hospital information systems, impediments to installation of such systems included the: (1) small size of most hospitals; (2) cost of automation; and (3) lack of evidence indicating future cost savings.

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