Dossia and Boston’s CHIP Go Free/Open Source LGPL License

Dossia a consortium of companies for “Lifelong Personally-Controlled Health Record” has announced that they will be using the LGPL (a FOSS license) licensed Indivo personally controlled health record software for Boston’s Childrens Hospital Information Program (CHIP) “Since the inception of the Indivo system in 1998, we have firmly held that the best way to get vital and private medical information to the point of care is under the strictest control of the individual,” said Kenneth Mandl, MD, MPH, CHIP researcher at HST and physician in Emergency Medicine at Children’s Hospital Boston. “Dossia and Children’s share a common vision of promoting widespread adoption of personally controlled health records and are excited to be working together to make this vision a reality.”

Where’s My Free Wi-Fi?

Slate has a cautionary tale for public/private initiatives or ‘how municipal Wi-Fi is such a flop’. This may shed some light on the failings of RHIO’s:

Today, the limited success stories come from towns that have actually treated Wi-Fi as a public calling. St. Cloud, Fla., a town of 28,000, has an entirely free wireless network. The network has its problems, such as dead spots, but also claims a 77 percent use rate among its citizens. Cities like St. Cloud understand the concept of a public service: something that’s free, or near-free, like the local swimming pool. Most cities have been too busy dreaming of free pipes to notice that their approach is hopelessly flawed.

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Medsphere team continues to fracture: Pecaitis leaves Medsphere

According to the all-knowing (or pretty darn close) Tim posting at HIStalk “Frank Pecaitis and Medsphere have parted ways”. Apparently Pecaitis now works for GE. From what I can tell. Frank Pecaitis was the last of the old-guard leadership still active at Medsphere. Modern Healthcare already broke the story that Ken Kizer is leaving Medsphere “when a successor is found” which apparently has not happened yet. Who is left at Medsphere? This is exactly what I had hoped to prevent: An ongoing pointless lawsuit, leaving the two brother founders twiddling their thumbs, and a company that is tearing itself apart.

Open Source Healthcare Information System PatientOS version 0.12 released

PatientOS is an open source healthcare information system physicians, nursing, pharmacy, laboratory and ultimately all departments in a hospital, physician practice, or any other healthcare facility. Version 0.12 adds the foundation code to support the creation and maintenance of a formulary. Pharmacists can create medications, and associate rules for dose checking. Medications may be created defining dose and dispense details to build the formulary.

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The Coming Electronic Health Record Software Disaster

The conventional wisdom seems to be that the United States as a nation needs to ‘financially incentivize the adoption of Electronic Health Record technology’. While the intentions are good, what this seems to translate into is a rush in the next few years to get any EHR software installed at all costs. If this is done in an uncontrolled fashion with proprietary EHR software the long term consequences will be disastrous and expensive.

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Article Slams e-Clinical Works, favors WorldVistA

We reported on the Advance HIE article: Getting Beyond Economics last week. The article appeared online briefly for free but it now requires a free registration required login. It is very thought provoking: “…Health insurers and medical software companies, not subject to such regulations, have provided free software and hardware directly to providers. New York City recently awarded a $19.8 million contract to a proprietary EHR vendor, which will permit the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to provide free software to physicians and clinics to be used for care of patients (“Big Medical Step, Starting with the City’s Poor,” New York Times, April 16, 2007). While this may be a good idea from the standpoint of affordability and interoperability if the patients all go to the clinics that use this particular system, it won’t be much help when those patients seek care somewhere else. Additionally, it is not clear how much � and for how long � training, technical support and upgrades are to be provided under this grant. But it is a safe bet that additional products and services won’t be provided free indefinitely.

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Why not rewrite in Python or Ruby on Rails

People are constantly asking my “Why don’t you re-write MirrorMed in python/ruby-on-rails/java?” I get this questions at conferences constantly, Then someone proceeds to tell me how much simpler my life would be if I was using the programing language they they like with the “framework of the day”. almost as often as I get some newbie telling me: “what we should do is re-write VistA in Java..”

Here is a great article from someone who has come full-circle: back to php. As you can imagine, a complex CD store is still much simpler than an full EHR.

Fred Trotter

Nine Hundred Swedish Pharmacies Switch to Linux

Nine hundred Swedish Pharmacies are switching to Redhat Linux on Intel according to this article: ‘…When you are dealing with people’s health, you really do need an IT system that both the pharmacy and patients can rely on, said Anders Persson, IT manager at Apoteket. We put high demands on the quality of applications, availability and cost efficiency. The switch to Red Hat Enterprise Linux is part of a strategy to offer our customers the best possible access and service, while cutting costs and modernizing our IT infrastructure…’

Advance HIE: Getting Beyond Economics

Updated: 09/21/07 allowed a web copy to be posted here. The August print edition of Advance for Health Information Executives has a tour-de-force article by Bruce Wilder, MD, MPH, JD page 49 entitled ‘Getting Beyond Economics’ that is simply pure champagne.

In addition to espousing the virtues of FOSS and WorldVistA EHR it contains such gems as: ‘The move toward a universal EHR is much more than the introduction of a new technology in medical care. Universal implementation of proprietary EHR systems has the potential to wrest control of the doctor-patient relationship from doctors and their patients. Unfortunately, most doctors and their patients don’t have a clue that this could happen — and already is happening — right under their noses. And, they will be paying for it!

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