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  OpenVistA® EHR in Midland
Medsphere Corp Posted by Ethan Waldo on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @ 03:05 PM
from the Medsphere dept.
This article has a great write-up on Midland Memorial Hospital's use of Redhat Linux and Medsphere's OpenVista®. Quoted from the article: "This year, Midland Memorial Hospital in Midland, Texas, became the first community hospital in the country to adopt Open Source-based electronic health records (EHR). The implementation reflects the emergence of Open Source alternatives in healthcare applications as well as the growing movement to computerize patient medical records to reduce costs and improve patient care." Editor's note: 10/19/06 The author of this Case Study is Medsphere's Vice President of Sales and marketing. Read Dr. Ho's comment about the article neglecting to mention that OpenVistA® is not Open Source.

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    Re: OpenVistA® EHR in Midland
    by Mark on Thursday October 19, 2006 @ 06:13 AM
    Correct me if i'm wrong but wasn't this written by the Medsphere PR guy and couldn't this be a reaction to the previous two articles on linuxmednews? From the article: Frank Pecaitis (The Author) is vice president of sales and marketing for Medsphere Systems, a commercial provider of open source technology for the healthcare industry.
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    Re: OpenVistA EHR in Midland
    by Tim Churches on Thursday October 19, 2006 @ 11:17 AM
    Yes, although the the article is written by the vice-president for sales and marketing at Medsphere, so it cannot be expected to be a totally unbiased appraisal.
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    Re: OpenVistA® EHR in Midland
    by Andrew P. Ho on Thursday October 19, 2006 @ 05:40 PM

    OpenVista has not been released under any open source license. Therefore, no one can use it to create an "Open Source-based" electronic health records system. In other words, OpenVista is a proprietary EHR available through restrictive license with terms not unlike other proprietary EHR systems.

    Clearly, the author of "OpenVista at Midland Memorial Hospital", Frank Pecaitis, VP of Sales and Marketing at MedSphere, neglected to make this clear when he wrote the article for the Enterprise OpenSource Magazine on October 17, 2006.

    The distinction between an "open source-based" EHR and a proprietary EHR that includes open source components is an important one. For example, Linux is an "open source-based" operating system, while Microsoft Windows is a proprietary operating system that includes open source components.

    The Midland Memorial Hospital did not adopt an open source-based EHR. Instead, it adopted an proprietary EHR that includes/uses open source components.

    [ Reply to this ]
    Re: OpenVistA® EHR in Midland
    by Ignacio H. Valdes, MD, MS on Thursday October 19, 2006 @ 06:46 PM
    Article mentions OpenVistA® 24 times, but not once does it say that OpenVistA is not Open Source. It does say in the fine print at the bottom: 'The company’s OpenVista electronic health record system is a commercial implementation of the open source VistA electronic health record developed and used by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.' One can only wonder what licensing terms is the 'commercial implementation'? -- IV
    [ Reply to this ]
    Problem with VistA
    by Jim on Friday October 20, 2006 @ 12:27 AM
    VistA doesn't comprehend the patient encounter number. It's a real problem.
    [ Reply to this ]
    Re: OpenVistA® EHR in Midland
    by David Whiles on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @ 03:47 AM
    I feel somewhat compelled to respond to the comments posted here. In the spirit of full disclosure, I am the Director of Information Systems at Midland Memorial Hospital. I totally understand the desire to not fully disclose relationships as some posting here have obviously chosen to do. First, you are correct - Frank Pecatis is the VP of Sales at Medsphere. The article was certainly meant to further Medsphere's interest - as well it should. However, it represented the actual facts and was not overly self serving - it described a real, successful and amazing implementation of the VistA system in a private sector environment. We (Midland Memorial) are now fully live at two campus with all clinical aspects of the VistA system and it is now our "official" EMR. We have chosen to interface with legacy registration and patient accounting systems for obvious reasons for those in the know about the VistA system as it relates to those functions. As to the open source question and Medsphere - Medsphere was engaged by us as a professional consulting service to implement the FOIA VistA system - not as a purchase of a proprietary system. The VistA implementation in Midland is 98%+ (maybe 99%+) straight out of the box FOIA VistA (in terms of lines of code). The "proprietary" components certainly include all the programming needed to successfully interface with many of our other systems - ADT, two way Order interfaces, inbound textual report interfaces for Radiology Results, Cardiopulmonary chartings, Transcription, etc. There have also been a number of "tweaks" to the CPRS user interface to make it useable outside the VA. As to the "account number" issue - that is more of a terminology problem. The out of the box VistA system uses the dual concept of a "Visit" (outpatient) and an "Admission" (inpatient) - both of which are uniquely and separately identified. The "Account Number" encompases both concepts and was an interesting concept that Medsphere has (mostly) successfully assisted us in adopting and incorporating into VistA. I cannot imagine any private sector healthcare organization not facing the same "Account Number" issue. As to MUMPS - what can I say. It is an ANSII language - it is unbelievably powerful - it is not well known outside the health industry - although if you look deep into many financial institutions you will find it because it is unbeatable at transaction processing - and is is at the heart of many major healthcare vendor's systems - IDX (now GE), Quadramed, EPIC - to name a few. 'Nough said.

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