I am attending AMIA in Chicago this year and was wondering whether there are any of those ‘subversive’ FOSS meetings going on in secluded corners … and how I might meet up with some of you!
Modern Healthcare’s Joseph Conn has an interview about the Harris County Health Information (HCHIC) in Houston putting on an inaugural fundraiser at St. Arnold’s Brewery for a city-wide EHR: ‘After hearing a talk by Stephen Foreman, a Robert Morris associate professor of healthcare administration and economics, Valdes said he gained the “intellectual firepower to do this now.”
OpenEMR HQ, a consultancy and integration firm focused on the popular OpenEMR medical records software package, has officially began offering service. The company, based near Tulsa, Oklahoma, offers a full range of products and services including installation, customization, and hosting and is primarily focused on small to mid-sized medical offices and clinics.
Modern Health care is reporting that the Oregon RHIO planning has come to a halt: “The health plans were willing to pay, but the hospitals thought it was a more challenging venture,” Gibson said. The project did not get funded because “it lacked a sustainable business model. If you look carefully at his (Witter’s) business plan, sustainable operation was way off in the future. He just said in year five or beyond, there would be services that might be salable. You still had the first few years that might not be sustainable.”
Chris Bailey, UK ICT Hub FOSS in the VCS project, writes: As part of the work for the UK ICT Hub’s FOSS in the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) project we are developing a new certification for FOSS use by not for profits, Free and Open Source Knowledge (FOSK). We are doing this in partnership with the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) whose certification for Linux system administrators has world wide recognition.
According to GPLMedicine.org and a company letter, AcerMed is officially dead. Fred Trotter opines: “The important thing to note here is what did NOT matter. The AcerMed people seemed decent enough: did not matter. AcerMed was CCHIT certified: did not matter. AcerMed was recommended in the industry press and by industry experts: did not matter. Companies get sued, people get sick. When will the medical community wake up to the fact that proprietary medical software is incompatible with medicine, incompatible with free thought and dangerous to patient data?”
Curtis Poe on oreillynet.com has an important opinion piece in which he argues: “…that any software with substantial risk to harm your life or liberty must be open source. I�m not saying that it should be free or that manufacturers should not be allowed protections, but the protection of the people must come first. Certainly we could come up with schemes for various systems which might purport to thoroughly test them without opening up the code, but there are too many systems and too many parameters for us to do this safely on a case-by-case basis…” Editor’s note: Electronic Medical Record falls firmly in this category.
Recent conversations with knowledgeable colleagues has recently reached a point where it is difficult to have a rational conversation about any aspect of Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software without having to invoke an entire other discipline to speak about it. As well, the lines of demarcation between EMR software engineering, law, licensing, economics, politics and public policy has now become so intertwined that it is becoming nearly impossible to tell where one ends and another begins. A nexus may have formed in which these are inextricably linked.
The public/private successor to AHIC and what form the future AHIC will take is being publicly discussed with presentation by Dr. Kolodner containing possible governance models here. Will Free and Open Source Software be prepresented? Are the minions of FOSS on the march? “American Health Information Community (AHIC) is a federal advisory body, chartered in 2005 to make recommendations to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on how to accelerate the development and adoption of health information technology. AHIC was formed by the Secretary to help advance efforts to achieve President Bush�s goal for most Americans to have access to secure electronic health records by 2014.”
Sit on the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) task force committee, write editorials, participate in government. These activities are of supreme importance for Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in medicine to succeed. If FOSS advocates are not present or do not speak up at the table when decisions are being made, guess what direction the decisions will go? The power of advocacy works only when exercised.
Remarkably few decision makers and leaders in healthcare know about or understand Free and Open Source licensed Electronic Medical Record software and how it is vastly superior to proprietary licensed EMR software. If FOSS advocates worldwide are not sitting at the decision table the decisions will inevitably go against FOSS EMR’s and for continuance of an unacceptable status-quo.