GAO: Project to share patients' records is off course

GAO: Project to share patients' records is off course

By Preeti Vasishtha

GCN Staff


MAY 3'The Veterans Affairs and Defense departments have made little progress in creating a system that will let them share patient health data, the General Accounting Office said in a report released Tuesday.

Poor accountability and planning, rising cost estimates and extended completion times have raised doubts about the Government Computer-Based Patient Record project's expected benefits, GAO said in the report, Computer-Based Patient Records: Better Planning and Oversight by VA, DOD and IHS Would Enhance Health Data Sharing.

In 1998, the two departments and the Indian Health Service began work on the project to move patient records electronically among their systems.

The agencies had planned worldwide deployment of the system last October, but did not meet intermediate target dates, the GAO report said, adding that the deployment has been pushed back indefinitely.

Cost estimates have also proven to be unreliable, the report said. Between September 1999 and August last year, the projected costs for GCPR ballooned from $270 million to $360 million.

The full report can be found on the GAO's site, www.gao.gov.

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