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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, the 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.
The 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.