The Veterans Administration's Automated Clinical Laboratory Reporting System

HRD-77-2: Published: Oct 12, 1976. Publicly Released: Oct 12, 1976.

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The clinical laboratory reporting system used at five Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals is basically a small computer system designed to help diagnose and treat patients by providing physicians prompt and accurate test reports. GAO reviewed the systems in use at Hines VA Hospital in Illinois and at Wadsworth VA Hospital in Los Angeles, California.

The Honeywell model 316 automated clinical laboratory reporting systems were found not to have greatly improved the timeliness and accuracy of patient laboratory test results or the accuracy of hospital administrative reports. It was the opinion GAO that the clinical laboratory reporting system is not better than the manual system it replaced. GAO recommends that the Administrator of Veterans Affairs require the Department of Medicine and Surgery to terminate further development of the clinical laboratory reporting system until the VA has evaluated the reliability of the system and determines whether the system can produce timely and accurate test results and administrative reports, and studies the role the computer should play in hospital laboratory and administrative operations.

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