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Highlights

The rapidly rising costs of health care, along with an increasing concern for the quality of care and the safety of patients, are driving health care organizations to use information technology (IT) to automate clinical care operations and their associated administrative functions. Among its other functions, IT is now being used for electronic medical records, order management and results reporting, patient care management, and Internet access for patient and provider communications. It also provides automated billing and financial management. The Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions asked GAO to identify cost savings and other benefits realized by health care organizations that have implemented IT both in providing clinical health care and in the administrative functions associated with health care delivery. GAO analyzed information from 10 private and public health care delivery organizations, 3 health care insurers, and 1 community data network.

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