Tenet Healthcare Corp. has contracted with Dallas-based Perot Systems Corp. to assume responsibility for information systems at Tenet's 81 hospitals in 13 states and three foreign countries.
The seven-year contract, which puts Perot in charge of all data processing operations, electronic communications systems and information technology, is expected to generate more than $275 million in revenues.
Tenet said it expected to save $100 million in lower overhead, economies of scale and access to more efficient data processing.
The first priority will be to merge the information systems of Tenet's two predecessor healthcare systems, National Medical Enterprises and American Medical International, a spokeswoman said. The new company was formed March 1.
Tenet had been operating its information systems mainly from a central data center in Southern California using an in-house staff. As a result of the transfer of operations to an outside company, Tenet eliminated 168 positions from its corporate staff based in Santa Monica, Calif. Perot immediately hired about 75 of those whose jobs were eliminated at Tenet.
In addition, Tenet has retained 20 specialists to plan and develop new strategic computer capabilities. Tenet's specialists will then direct Perot in the implementation of the new systems.
The use of outside companies to operate information systems and help retool healthcare organizations for managed-care business is on the increase (See related stories, p. 60).
"Our association with Perot Systems will free us from significant overhead costs-including those related to updating continuously evolving technology-and will increase our access to sophisticated systems management and development," said Jeffrey Barbakow, Tenet's chairman and chief executive officer.