open source EHRs

See the following -

A 40-Year 'Conspiracy' at the VA

Arthur Allen | Politico | March 19, 2017

Four decades ago, in 1977, a conspiracy began bubbling up from the basements of the vast network of hospitals belonging to the Veterans Administration. Across the country, software geeks and doctors were puzzling out how they could make medical care better with these new devices called personal computers. Working sometimes at night or in their spare time, they started to cobble together a system that helped doctors organize their prescriptions, their CAT scans and patient notes, and to share their experiences electronically to help improve care for veterans...

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AMA Call To Action On Health Records Should Tell Doctors To Heal Themselves

The American Medical Association (AMA) is one of the most powerful and well-known institutions in this country. Opposition from the AMA helped to bury hopes for universal healthcare back in the Harry Truman presidency, and now the AMA maintains a stranglehold on Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes and therefore on any innovation in reporting medical services. So when the AMA puts out a press release titled AMA Calls for Design Overhaul of Electronic Health Records to Improve Usability, describing the serious usability problems of EHRs, and announcing the release of their “solution” white paper titled Improving Care: Priorities to Improve Electronic Health Record Usability, headlines get made and policy-makers start to stir. Can a snap of the fingers by the AMA bring the EHR industry in line? Read More »

Can Open Source EHRs Offer a New Path for Health IT Usability?

Jennifer Bresnick | Health IT Analytics | March 28, 2017

In an article published in JMIR Medical Informatics, researchers from the University of California-Davis decided to explore the small but intriguing world of open source EHRs, which may fit very neatly into the growing interest in application programming interfaces, FHIR, and other open data standards that encourage customized mix-and-match health IT development without the historical pitfalls of proprietary systems. Using data from 2014, the researchers identified 54 open source projects that met the HHS definition of an electronic health record.  At the time, four of those packages had achieved Certified EHR Technology status from the ONC.

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CMS Supports Open Source/Modular Medicaid Information Technology

Andrew Slavitt | CMS Blog | January 11, 2016

Investing in the future of Medicaid is one of the single biggest opportunities in the health care sector...Overall, CMS’ annual investment in state Medicaid Information Technology (IT) is more than $5 billion, enabling states to modernize their Medicaid IT systems to best meet their program, providers’ and beneficiaries’ needs. CMS and states are prepared to invest in innovative solutions. For this investment, we expect significant advances. Our new regulations require that states evolve their legacy Medicaid IT systems to leverage reusable solutions, and to practice industry-proven IT methods such as use of modularity, reuse, shared services (including Software-as-a-Service) by fundamentally shifting the financial incentives away from custom development. This opens opportunity to smaller vendors to develop focused solutions for use across multiple states or to introduce solutions from comparable sectors such as commercial insurance or large provider systems.

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Communities Help Open Source EHRs Thrive (Part 1 of 3: Justification)

Andy Oram | EMR & EHR | December 2, 2014

The next two articles in this series will examine various open source projects in the health IT space that have developed vibrant communities. But before we can appreciate the importance of those efforts, we need to understand why community is central to growth. That is the subject of this article...

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Composable Software, Collaborative Development, and the CareWeb Framework

The CareWeb Framework (CWF) enables the software developer to build complex, richly interactive, web-based applications in a modular fashion...The CWF has been used as the basis for a complete EHR and CPOE system and has been ported to several open source EHRs, including OpenMRS, VistA, and RPMS. The CWF is open source software built upon open source software. Read More »

Expect an Upcoming Shake-up of Health IT Vendors in the Marketplace

Medical Economics just published their report listing the "The Top 100 EHR Companies in 2013".  It makes for very interesting reading. According to the report, best estimates by the government currently show over 700 companies that now offer 'certified' electronic health record (EHR) systems to healthcare providers. These companies range from publically-traded software companies to start-up enterprises - and everything in between. However, the future viability of these vendors and their EHR systems has become an issue. 'Open source' EHR alternatives may offer a low risk alternative to many of proprietary vendors on the list. Read More »

InnerSource: a practical application of open source techniques within organizational boundaries

Using open source methods within your own company--without offering up your resulting source code to the public--is called InnerSource. A report I wrote for O'Reilly Media titled Getting Started with InnerSource lays out some of the benefits of the open source model and how one company, PayPal, is carrying out both open source projects and InnerSource. Why would you want InnerSource? According to the report, your organization can grow and become more productive in several ways...

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O'Reilly Report Explores Open Solutions to Health IT

Although many programmers and public interest advocates come to the concepts of free software, standards, open data, and transparent institutions out of idealism, modern businesses and governments are being driven to these same solutions out of the practical need to meet high expectations with diminishing resources. The ways in which the health care field has been incrementally adopting these paths are the subject of a new report, written by me and released by O'Reilly Media, called The Information Technology Fix for Health: Barriers and Pathways to the Use of Information Technology for Better Health Care. Read More »

On the Need for Human-Centered Design in EHRs

Health information technology (HIT) has become the hottest political issue in Washington. The healthcare industry in the United States is facing a crisis as medical facilities have spent hundreds of billions of dollars implementing electronic health record (EHR) systems, yet patients and the physicians and nurses that care for them are seeing few benefits. Congress has been holding hearings focused on detailing the problems and trying to write legislation that will provide a solution to the crisis. The HIT interoperability bill drafted by Rep. Michael C. Burgess (R-TX) is one example. These are welcome first steps. However, none of the bills currently before Congress, and none of the hearings, are addressing the two most important issues facing medical providers today. These are lack of EHR usability, and the inability to have a patients’ entire medical record at the point of care.

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Open Health Round-Up For 2014: Notable Articles, Reports, And Events

Even the hidebound field of health care can undergo a lot of change over the course of one year. Key health IT trends that I saw throughout 2014 are summarized in another article. Here I'll list some of the most notable articles and reports related to open source, standards, and transparency in health. Read More »

Open Source EHRs: Will They Support Clinical Data Needs of the Future? (Part 1 of 2)

Andy Oram | EMR & EHR | November 10, 2014

Open source software missed out on making a major advance into health care when it was bypassed during hospitals’ recent stampede toward electronic health records, triggered over the past few years by Meaningful Use incentives...As Meaningful Use ramps down and clinicians have to look for value in EHRs, can the open source options provide what they need?

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Pitching Medicaid IT in Silicon Valley

Andrew Slavitt | CMS Blog | May 25, 2016

Earlier this year, I announced a new effort to connect new, innovative companies and their investors to the state Medicaid program IT space. Since this announcement, I have been encouraged by the initial interest from companies that may not have otherwise ever thought about participating in this important health insurance program that covers more than 72 million Americans. That’s why I’m in Silicon Valley today to participate in a forum on bringing technological advances to Medicaid. The forum is convening states, innovative tech companies, and federal Medicaid officials on how to collaborate to improve the delivery of Medicaid health coverage in states.

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Second annual Healthcare IT Marketing Conference (HITMC)

Prolific blogger and health IT media magnate, John Lynn and I are teaming up again for the second year to produce and deliver a marketing conference focused on helping digital health, health IT, and medical device  innovators. We’re going to be providing actionable advice and specific techniques you can use to cut through the noise when trying to market healthcare and medical tech products to physicians, hospitals, health systems, ACOs, patients, and similar customers. Read More »

The Politics of the EHR: Why we’re not where we want to be and what we need to do to get there

By now, it seems abundantly clear that the vast potential offered by universal adoption of electronic health records (EHR) has not been achieved.  Indeed, the fulfillment of that potential seems a long way off.  Unsolved problems with interoperability, usability, safety, and security, to name a few, remain, and continue to pose barriers to universal adoption. There is ample evidence in the medical literature, of the unsolved problems of the EHR.  Indeed, two recent reports that offer (probably inadequate) solutions highlight the difficulties that exist with the EHR.  The proliferation of these problems has only increased with the increase in adoption of the EHR by physicians and institutions.   The Texas Medical Association has asked the (at the time) ONC, Farhad Mostashari, MD, to establish a health IT patient safety czar.1 Read More »