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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

Sep 4 2011   8:40PM GMT

Open Source initiative from the VA and DoD for VistA

Posted by: RedaChouffani
DoD, EHR implementation, Interoperability and health information exchange, Open Source, Open Source EHR, VA

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced on August 30, 2011 that it has engaged with the Department of Defense (DoD), working with the Informatics Application Group, to open access to its open source electronic health record (EHR) and provide governance so that outsiders can contribute and improve upon the VistA product.

The organizations will use the OSEHRA web site to oversee the community of EHR users, programmers and service providers that will work on the product.The web site currently provides additional resources such as design documentation, licensing terms, and system architecture and source code for VistA.

As many already know, the VA has been one of the largest medical systems in the US to implement and adopt electronic medical records.While VistA has been commercialized from groups such as Medsphere, it has not yet seen wide commercial adoption, though Medsphere did have an open source community for its modified version of VistA called Healthcare Open Source Ecosystem.

This new initiative will help create more modules of interest to the private sector and will also encourage wider adoption due to the potential added functionality that can be generated by outside contributors.In addition, the current VistA solution has the ability to connect to the NHIN due to the development of the VistANHIN adaptor.

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