Nearly a third of hospitals have yet to develop a strategy for correcting flaws that cause software and medical devices to misrepresent the year 2000, according to an annual survey by Chicago law firm Gordon & Glickson.
What's more, 40% of respondents said they would not finish fixing the problem until sometime in 1999. And that percentage may be understated, because 25% of the hospitals surveyed did not even venture an estimated date of completion.
"This is troubling, as it is a virtual certainty that dates in the year 2000 will need to be entered into the hospitals' databases in 1999, if not sooner," the law firm noted in its analysis.
Only 8% of respondents said they would complete the job by June 1998, and another 24% are planning to finish by year-end.
Among other findings, 86% of respondents had analyzed existing software, hardware and data sources, but only 60% had surveyed vendors on the year-2000 compliance of their products.
And only 11% had coordinated their efforts with third-party suppliers and partners, guarding against the transmission of corrupted data from outside information sources.
The survey, conducted in the first quarter of 1998, was mailed to 1,600 hospitals and netted 170 responses.