Computer Associates to OS Ingres

In a move to bolster corporate uptake and support for open source Computer Associates, Inc. will open source its Ingres Relational Database. It also announced collaborations with “JBoss,Inc”: and “Zope Corp.”: CA has also made a strong commitment to work closely with the newly formed “Plone Foundation”: and announced their BrightStor Document Manager based on Plone.

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OpenEMR Developer Access – Subversion

Developers now have direct access to the OpenEMR Subversion development files. This access is available using Subversion. Subversion is an advanced and flexible replacement for CVS. Subversion is an open source application, and is available at Only recent versions of OpenEMR repositories are available at You can check out a working copy of OpenEMR if you have the subversion tools installed by issuing:

svn co

In addition to the increased access, OpenEMR also has a nightly .tar snapshot.

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FreeMED Software Support Services

FreeMED Software Foundation, Inc. announced the formation of two companies to help physicians, specialists, nursing homes and small hospitals implement, maintain and migrate to Linux and FreeMED Software.

Ozzie Scutliff is heading FreeMED NY, Inc. Frank Valier is heading FreeMED MA, Inc. These companies have been authorized by the Foundation to provide certified support services for FreeMED Software. The managers of these companies are participants in the FreeMED Marketing Training Program.

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Tenth VistA Community Meeting: Seattle, Washington — 17-20 March 2004

Tenth VistA Community Meeting: Seattle, Washington — 17-20 March 2004

The VistA Community will meet again in Seattle, Washington from Thursday, June 17 through Sunday June 20, 2004. The meeting will be at University of Washington School of Medicine. Agenda and registration information can be found here on the WorldVistA site.

Tenth VistA Community Meeting: Seattle, Washington — 17-20 March 2004

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Two Medical Clinics Choose OpenEMR

San Diego, California — May 20, 2004 — Pennington Firm, an open source software development company, is chosen by two clinics to implement the open source electronic medical record (EMR) application OpenEMR.

Clinics choosing OpenEMR in May 2004 are:

Tustin Occupational Medical Group of Tustin, California; and
Bio-Tech Prosthetics and Orthotics of Durham, Inc.

Pennington Firm is delivering OpenEMR with CMS 1500 (formerly HCFA 1500) billing support, and connection to a clearinghouse for the processing of claims. OpenEMR is a full featured, practice management, electronic medical record and prescription writing application that can serve as a direct open source replacement for proprietary medical applications such as Medical Manager, HealthPro and MegaWest.

Open source applications, such as OpenEMR, free clinics of the monopoly lock-in of proprietary medical software, allows customization to meet 100% of the clinics needs, allows support to be provided by your internal technical resources or the vendor of your choice, and eliminates the possibility that your clinic’s software will be orphaned at the election of the software vendor.

OpenEMR is designed for the stable and secure Linux operating system, but can also be installed on UNIX or Windows with the Apache web server. OpenEMR is a free, open source application that can be downloaded, installed and used without any user or license fees.

Why Health First is dumping MS Office

The Brevard County Florida non-profit healthcare facility, Health First, migrating 3,500 PCs with 6,000 users to open source.

In two projects (where Linux is at the heart of both) they are moving infrastructure and desktops to open source applications. “Part 1 of the story is here”:,289202,sid39_gci964811,00.html

Though they are going to save $2M they also note that the key feature is that the functionality is available in OpenOffice that equals and in some cases exceeds MSOffice(tm). The ability to export Acrobat (PDF) and Flash (SWF) files from OpenOffice not only saves the cost of Adobe Acrobat and Macromedia’s Flash utilites but it also lessens the number of applications to track.

Making Open WebMail Work

Thanks to J. Antas for this article on ‘Recently I was asked to provide Internet e-mail to a large segment of our hospital community. The mail had to be standards-based to provide the widest compatibility base possible for the 3,000 people who might have need of it. It had to be Web-based, but not overly complicated, and it had to employ open source (read “free”) tools to help keep the budget down. Finally, it had to be secure, to comply with HIPAA regulations. To meet those requirements, I deployed Open Webmail, Sendmail, and Red Hat Linux 9 on a 1U IBM Linux machine…’

Let’s Do the Time Warp Again

I was reading an interesting article in Healthcare Informatics entitled Reality EMR’s. Interesting because I had been wondering lately about progress with Electronic Medical Records EMR’s of both the Free/Open source and Closed source kind. You see, Linux Medical News passed its 4th birthday at the end of March and it seems as though there is much talk but precious little progress among EMR’s in general.

Obviously I have taken the side of Free/Open EMR’s for good reasons but I examine Closed source to see how it is doing as well. So I had expected this article to trumpet how well proprietary EMR’s are doing.

I had little to fear. It seems like ‘Deja Vu all over again’ in the article. Particularly the same old story about a physician who quit practicing 10 years ago to start an EMR company that was going to cure all of Health-IT’s ills. It was sounding good until you hit this line:

‘…Now everything except physician progress notes and orders is online, with the help of software from Burlington, Vt.-based IDX Systems Corp. Computerized physician order entry (CPOE) pilot projects are evolving in three of the system’s five regions, with full-scale CPOE implementation expected within the next year or so…’

‘Everything’ except progress notes and orders? With the rest on the way in the next year or so? Doesn’t sound very definitive to me. It also doesn’t say how much they are paying IDX for this system that does ‘everything’ sort of kind of. The rest of the article details a morass of incompatible systems and sites as ‘Success springing up all over’. It seems like we are doing the time warp again.

FreeMED 0.7.0 Beta 4 Released

FreeMED 0.7.0 Beta 4 was released on Monday, May 3, 2004. It is the fourth in a series of beta releases in preparation for the final 0.7.0 release. This release consists mostly of packaging fixes and user contributed bugfixes, as well as more specialized reports. All users who are currently testing the 0.7.0 beta series should upgrade to this release.
Upgrades from this version to 0.7.0 should be seamless. The release can be downloaded from More information is available on or