Irv Lichtenwald

See the following -

A responsible solution: VA VistA, the cloud and private development

While changes to VistA are warranted and necessary, trashing the entire system because one component may be flawed makes little sense from technological or financial perspectives. The VA scheduling scandal was the product of an agency overwhelmed by veterans returning from two theaters of war. In that scenario, the scheduling system became a scapegoat for organizational and human resources challenges that were bound to manifest in one way or another.The VA should not heed calls to replace VistA for these key reasons...

Read More »

American Samoa Medical Center Authority Selects OpenVista as Public Health EHR

Press Release | Medsphere Systems Corporation | May 20, 2014

American territory will use VistA-based solution to meet Meaningful Use and support broad public health services for residents Read More »

Are CMS' Efforts Too Little and Too Late to Save the Collapsing US Rural Healthcare System?

With 35 percent of rural hospitals losing money and almost two-thirds running a negative operating margin, there’s simply no way rural facilities can invest in health IT without help...It’s clear that CMS understands we can’t leave rural hospitals to fend for themselves. But it also seems clear that a lot of hospitals invested in electronic health records (EHRs) they could ill afford to qualify for Meaningful Use funds—dollars that seldom covered implementation costs for solutions that didn’t yield significant cost savings and required additional technical personnel...“The high capital and operating costs associated with health IT, specifically EHRs, have put some hospitals in a difficult position,” wrote Becker’s Hospital CFO in a prescient January 2014 article. “Do they absorb the financial hit now, even if they know they can't afford it? Most organizations are doing so …”

Read More »

Are jackalopes and information blocking similar?

Looking to dupe urbanite travelers, bartenders and bar owners in rural Western taverns sometimes fasten antelope horns to the head of a large jackrabbit. They then mount the whole thing, hang it over the bar and tell visitors looking for a craft brewed IPA to watch for vicious jackalopes when they’re out and about. So, are we having a jackalope moment in health IT? Do we believe in something we can’t see? The suggestion has been made that some vendors are actively engaged in “information blocking”—a basic refusal to exchange patient data with other systems. Either that or they’re charging boatloads of money to do so, which is framed as a form of information blocking in a way, but not exactly.

Read More »

Beauregard Memorial Hospital running Medsphere's OpenVistA EHR system receives Stage 1 'Meaningful Use' reimbursement

Press Release | Medsphere Systems Corporation | June 12, 2012

Medsphere Systems Corporation and Beauregard Memorial Hospital today announced that Beauregard has received federal reimbursement for the licensing of Medsphere’s OpenVista® electronic health record (EHR). The payment of Stage One Meaningful Use funds to the DeRidder, Louisiana, hospital covers five-year total licensing costs for the OpenVista EHR. The affordability of OpenVista will enable Beauregard to use additional federal funds received for subsequent stages of the Meaningful Use program on other hospital initiatives.

Read More »

BT Bets on Medsphere's 'Open' EHR

Bernie Monegain | Healthcare IT News | January 13, 2015

Medsphere Systems and BT have agreed to jointly promote Medsphere's OpenVista EHR under a software-as-a-service, or SaaS, model. The goal, executives from both companies say, is to relieve hospitals of the many costly and burdensome IT responsibilities.

Read More »

BT to Offer Medsphere’s OpenVista Electronic Health Record

Press Release | Medsphere, BT | January 13, 2015

Open source health IT leader and established international IT services provider to promote SaaS open-platform solution Read More »

Can Smartphone Apps and EHRs Transform Mental Health Care?

Our relationship with technology is not unidirectional. We use it, and it changes us. But it cannot alter fundamental realities regardless of how hopeful Americans are or how much faith we have in it. More and better technology is not a substitute for adequate funding and coordinated planning, especially when we’re talking about the very significant funding issues around behavioral health. Sure, we can get excited about the newest app and the latest EHR functionality, but we must also maintain a focus on meeting the needs of the mental health professionals committed to keeping our fellow citizens from falling through the cracks. Even while there is no magic in technology, there is also no reason to believe we can’t fix a broken mental health system through hard work, empathy and thoughtful planning. Time and again, our faith in those principles has been rewarded.

Read More »

Case Study Demonstrates Efficacy of OpenVista for Behavioral Health

Press Release | Medsphere | April 14, 2016

Medsphere Systems Corporation...today announced the release of a case study focused on three inpatient behavioral health facilities that have implemented Medsphere’s OpenVista electronic health record (EHR). The integration of OpenVista into workflows and processes at Silver Hill Hospital, IntraCare North and The Recovery Center at EvergreenHealth Monroe has yielded clear benefits at each facility in terms of both patient care and the day-to-day experience of clinicians and staff. The clinicians at all three hospitals now have rapid access to more accurate and comprehensive patient records...

Could Billion Dollar EHRs Bankrupt the Country?

Earlier this year, Monmouth University conducted a survey to determine which issues were most important as the country transitions to a new presidential administration. Among all the potential concerns Americans now face, the issue that rises to the top is healthcare costs. How acute a concern is this? It’s significant enough that, when asked the open-ended question, “turning to issues closer to home, what is the biggest concern facing your family right now?”, 25 percent of respondents made it their number one issue...

Detroit-Area Mental Health Clinics to Implement OpenVista Electronic Health Record

Press Release | Medsphere Systems Corporation | October 21, 2015

Medsphere Systems Corporation...today announced that the Behavioral Center of Michigan and Samaritan Behavioral Center, providers of inpatient behavioral health and related services in and around Detroit, will implement the company’s OpenVista® electronic health record (EHR). The Behavioral Center of Michigan, a 42-bed inpatient facility in the Detroit suburb of Warren, manages Samaritan, a 55-bed adult inpatient facility located in revitalizing Detroit. "The decision to go with OpenVista was based on both the reputation of VistA-based systems at VA and Indian Health Service hospitals and the success other Medsphere clients like Silver Hill Hospital have had with the system,” said Behavioral Center of Michigan CEO Ryan Gunabalan.

Read More »

Google Joins VistA Team Proposing Open Source EHR for the Department of Defense

Google has thrown its hat into the EHR ring by joining the team led by PwC which is proposing that the Department of Defense (DoD) upgrade their current EHR to Defense Operational Readiness Health System (DORHS), a customized application built for the DoD and based on VistA, the open source EHR developed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)...Google’s participation has enormous implications for both the DoD’s EHR and to the healthcare industry as a whole. By choosing the open source EHR team, Google...has sent a clear message to the world that VistA is the best option for the DoD.

Read More »

Guadalupe County Hospital Uses OpenVista EHR to Qualify for Federal Meaningful Use Funds

Press Release | Medsphere, Guadalupe County Hospital | November 8, 2012

Medsphere’s affordable open source electronic health record [OpenVistA] enables rural New Mexico facility to pay for comprehensive health IT platform in total through federal reimbursement The smallest non critical-access hospital in the nation, Guadalupe is also representative of thousands of similar healthcare facilities nationwide that live close to the financial margins and still manage to provide crucial local healthcare services.

Read More »

HCCA/Southern Inyo Healthcare District Selects OpenVista EHR

Press Release | HCCA, Southern Inyo Healthcare District | August 24, 2016

Medsphere Systems Corporation, the leading provider of affordable and interoperable electronic health record (EHR) solutions and services, today announced that the company and Healthcare Conglomerate Associates (HCCA) will partner to improve and modernize care in the area on behalf of the Southern Inyo Healthcare District (SIHD). The agreement calls for Medsphere to implement the OpenVista® electronic health record (EHR) system in Southern Inyo Hospital and manage and support the hospital’s information technology through the company’s Phoenix Health Systems division...

Read More »

Healthcare Has Cost Problems, but IT and EHRs Do Not Have to be One of Them

I’m proud to lead a group of intelligent and energetic technology professionals committed to developing a robust healthcare IT system that is (1) easy for clinicians to use, (2) improves patient health and (3) doesn’t bankrupt hospital budgets. We think any sustainable system must have those three key requirements. And how is healthcare doing thus far? The EHRs available today are developing rapidly. Vendors are making frequent and impactful improvements to improve system usability. Clinicians are getting better at maximizing the contribution healthcare IT makes to patient health and safety. It’s not hard to see how healthcare IT can meet the first two requirements and broadly contribute to improved healthcare.

Read More »