Veterans' Administration Actions Taken in Response to GAO Report on the Agency's Automated Clinical Lab System

HRD-77-122: Published: Jul 12, 1977. Publicly Released: Jul 12, 1977.

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The Veterans Administration's (VA) automated clinical laboratory is basically a small computer system designed to provide physicians with prompt and accurate test results and hospitals with accurate administrative reports. A GAO study concluded that the system had not greatly improved the timeliness and accuracy of the test results nor the accuracy of the administrative reports. GAO further concluded that the system showed no improvements over the manual system that it had replaced. It was recommended that further development of the system be terminated until its reliability and capability could be evaluated and that the computer's role in hospital laboratory and administrative operations be studied.

Although VA has made several studies of the deficiencies of the clinical laboratory reporting system, the actions taken by VA were not responsive to the GAO report. The response is basically concerned with the issue of whether the new system it plans, will be cost beneficial. VA has not addressed the main problems identified by GAO.

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