A Conversation with Canada Health Infoway

You may recall an “earlier LMN posting”:http://www.linuxmednews.com/1115819855/index_html that refered to a blog by Brad Barclay. The blog was inspired by the underwhelming response regarding open source strategies by three healthcare IT decision makers at eHealth2005.

I had an opportunity a few days later at a “BCHIMPS”:http://www.bchimps.bc.ca/ meeting to ask Mr. Richard Alverez, CEO Canada Health Infoway, specifically his strategy for open source licensed software use in Infoway projects. His response led me to believe that there is some confusion regarding the concepts of the open source licenses and specific software packages. As well as a general lack of awareness of the long term benefits that open source software can bring.

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INFOWAY To Promote Interoperability Through Open Source Initiative

“Press Release”:http://www.infoway-inforoute.ca/news-events/index.php?loc=20050601&lang=en

Montreal, June 1, 2005 – Infoway has launched an Open Source initiative that will help demonstrate how independent health information systems can exchange information with one another. This interoperability is critical to bring authorized healthcare providers complete and accurate information when and where they need it, allowing them to make better diagnosis and treatment decisions.

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OpenHRE Tests Record Locator Service Prototype

Open Health Records Exchange (OpenHRE) is participating in a national prototype health records exchange project. On Wednesday June 1, 2005 Connecting for Health announced a demonstration project featuring three communities testing the Record Locator Service (RLS). The demonstration is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2005. Connecting for Health is a public-private collaborative designed to address the barriers to development of an interconnected health information infrastructure in the United States. OpenHRE is an open source project devloping a standards-based, scalable, multi-level Record Locator Service with federated records exchange and secure access control. The OpenHRE RLS is based on the OpenEMed project.

Responses to the ONCHIT RFI

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today released a report summarizing over 500 responses totaling nearly 5,000 pages of information to the HHS’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s (ONCHIT) Request for Information (RFI) published November 15, 2004 seeking public comment on how to best achieve widespread interoperability of health information through a nationwide health information network (NHIN).

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OpenEMR 2.7.2 Released

Today the OpenEMR project has produced its first major release since moving to SourceForge back in March.

Some highlights of the 2.7.2 final release are:

  • An overhauled, faster and nicer-looking appointment calendar
  • Support for current versions of the SQL-Ledger accounting system, deprecating the old “forked” sql-ledger sub-project of OpenEMR
  • Partial implementation of access controls based on the phpGACL project
  • Improved tracking of immunizations
  • Patient problems can be associated with specific encounters and vice versa
  • New forms for EOB entry, payment posting and adjustments
  • Patient statements and collection letters
  • New reports including cash receipts and cross-referencing of appointments with encounters
  • Demographics export to a commercial laboratory system
  • Support for some FreeB (billing system) fixes

The SourceForge OpenEMR project pages can be found at http://sourceforge.net/projects/openemr/.