Open Source meets IHE: the O3 Consortium

After a three-year experience in applying open source to healthcare, in particular in radiology (Raynux and DPACS Project) we decide to experiment a different approach in which open source phylosophy meets standard such as DICOM or HL7 and technical guidelines such as IHE (

First of all O3 is a knowledge management project: we consider a priority to support the knowledge of the user in order to better use the software developed. We believe that skilled users are the starting point of a successful project.

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Using OpenEMR in Family Practice

We are running OpenEMR from a virtual machine in our Family Practice office now with no problem.

We have been open for about 10 days now and we have been using OpenEMR from the first day with no problems. We use a virtual machine played with the free vmware player. It is a complete linux system set up by Rod Roark with OpenEMR, Freeb, and SQL-Ledger. The vm is run under Windows XP on a Toshiba laptop with a P4 1.8ghz and 1GB of RAM. In the morning, I load the vm and the other computers in the office, on the network, can log in by clicking on the desktop link to OpenEMR. At the end of the day, I back up the vm to a DVD. Sometimes I take the laptop home to work and sometimes not. My staff has taken to it with no complaints. We have a hybrid system of keeping a limited paper chart and the EMR chart. When I can afford it, I will upgrade to a nice fast desktop machine to run the vm with a fast, high capacity DVD writer. I am now working on customizing OpenEMR a little to work better for us. To keep things simple, I make a copy of the vm to experiment with so I don’t mess up our real data or system. This is definitely the way things will be done in the future. I highly recommend that physicians who want to save themselves a lot of headaches with EMR and practice management software should look into it.

Study Supports Use of CPOE to Reduce Medication Errors

Critical Care Forum has “published”: a study on CPOE usage in an ICU entitled “Impact of computerized physician order entry on medication prescription errors in the intensive care unit: a controlled cross-sectional trial”
Medication errors in the intensive care unit (ICU) are frequent and lead to attributable patient morbidity and mortality, increased length of ICU stay and substantial extra costs. We investigated if the introduction of a computerized ICU system (Centricity Critical Care Clinisoft, GE Healthcare) reduced the incidence and severity of medication prescription errors (MPEs).

This is good news for any well designed, well implemented and properly used system.

A “hard-to-digest” commentary on Open Source and Free Software and Microsoft…

Being fully-aware of all the criticism I shall receive from the so-called “Open Source and Free Software” grounds, I am taking my individiual liberty to say the following: I think the biggest contribution to Open Source and Free Software comes from the Microsoft itself!

A “hard-to-digest” commentary on Open Source and Free Software and Microsoft…

Yes, in Turkey I personally had the liberty to copy and freely distribute copies of expensive Microsoft products in the past; how? Well, IPR and copyright has not been legally protected since a few years and also even though we now have legal framework to do so in practice it still does not work…Up to my knowledge there are hardly any specialised lawyers and judges in the country to take on such lawsuits. Even the activities of BSA (Business Software Alliance) still have a questionable legal validity and as far as I know, in very little cases where they kind of arrest and publicise in newspapers and etc. are just for show-off.

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ClearHealth at SCALE ’06

Uversa will offering ClearHealth training and new feature demonstrations in our booth (#38) at the upcoming Southern California Linux Exposition (SCALE) February 11 & 12 at February 11-12, 2006, at The Radisson Los Angeles Airport. Come see ClearHealth at booth #38.

With the RC3 release on the immediate horizon there are a huge number of new EMR features (real time labs, case management, chronic condition guidelines and episode of care…) and productivity improvements.

RSVP to to coordinate a free 1 hour training session and receive a free bound copy of our the training guide. We look forward to seeing you there.

For full information see our press release at:

Senator Endorses VistA for EHR Standard

In a Hospital Connect editorial, Delaware senator Tom Carper has endorsed the Veterans Affairs VistA software as a reference model for a national standard EHR: “…Efforts are underway within the federal government to ensure that all health care providers will be able to use IT in a uniform and secure way. Mike Leavitt, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, recently announced the creation of a new commission charged with devising a set of national health IT standards…We don�t need to reinvent the wheel to come up with standards that will work…For the past 10 years, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the nation�s largest central health care system with more than a thousand medical centers, nursing homes and outpatient clinic across the country, has been using an EHR with amazing results.” Read more for the full text of the article.

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Penguin Day

Saturday, March 25th, 9am to 5pm, in downtown Seattle. Organized by Aspiration and Picnet, local partners and YOU!

Penguin Day Seattle will bring together non-profit technology staff and open source software (OSS) developers for a day of learning and conversation. We’ll demystify open source for nonprofits, frankly address the challenges of developing open source tools for non profits, and celebrate strengths and successes of open source in the nonprofit sector. Leading open source innovators, including One Northwest (Seattle) and FreeGeek (Portland) will share their stories and knowledge. If you are curious about open source software for your nonprofit organization, Penguin Days are for you! Register at .*

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OSHCA Revival?

There is talk on the new OpenHealth list about a revival of the Open Source Health Care Alliance (OSHCA). At its peak, OSHCA was a hotbed of Free and Open Source in medicine activity, then went quiet when incorporation plans did not proceed. The 2002 Los Angeles meeting was a memorable event indeed with OSCAR and many other projects going mainstream as well as Mike McCoy’s keynote and many other fabulous speakers. Attendee’s were a who’s who of leaders such as Joseph Dal Molin, a large contingent of the VistA community, the Pacific Hui, KS Bhaskar, the Shreeve brothers, Horst Herb, Tim Cook, Andrew Ho and many others. I hope something comes of it.

Editorial: How Medical Record Software Could be Better

I write medical software. When I talk to people and they inevitably ask what I do, that�s what I say. When I say this, a look comes across their face. They make some assumptions that on the surface would appear to be very sound. Assumptions: Medical Software means cutting edge. It means that what I do affects life and death situations. They believe working in this field requires education, experience, and an understanding of two completely different fields, computers and medicine. The Medical Software field is big, scary and has important medical procedures and tests and anyone who understands it must be smarter than the average person. Unfortunately almost none of this is true.

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