Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Department
of Defense's (DOD) Composite Health Care System (CHCS), focusing
on: (1) DOD efforts to complete deployment of CHCS to military
medical treatment facilities worldwide; (2) DOD efforts to address
previously identified problems; and (3) a new CHCS operational
issue. GAO found that: (1) DOD completed deployment of CHCS to 526
medical treatment facilities worldwide, which was difficult because
of the system's complexity and the number of sites involved; (2)
two DOD officials ensured the deployment's success by providing
leadership and using fundamental information management practices;
(3) DOD expects CHCS benefits to exceed its costs by $1.3 billion
over the system's expected life; (4) CHCS should improve
scheduling, give greater and quicker access to patient information,
and increase the timeliness of medical care; (5) DOD has made
progress in addressing its two previously identified problems by
developing a prototype clinically oriented graphical user interface
to make patient order-entry less cumbersome and strengthening the
tools and methodology needed to manage CHCS performance; (6) DOD
has updated its CHCS performance management plan and developed
performance simulation models for each CHCS computer platform; (7)
the lack of an effective plan for rapidly repairing or replacing
CHCS equipment damaged by disaster remains a problem; and (8) DOD
did not address this problem because of cost concerns and a lack of
accurate information, but it is reconsidering its options for
providing equipment adequate backup.
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