For those PHP lovers among the open source hackers for the medical world: a PHP version of the Perl HL7 toolkit‘s API has been created within the Care2x project. The API has been announced on the PEAR site, and the call for votes has been initiated, so as to accept this package in the official PHP PEAR list. It would be rather nice if those PHP lovers would audit the package, and vote. For details, see
the PEAR proposal

ESSI VistA Successful, No Downtime

Houston, Texas: Executive Software Systems, Inc. (ESSI), a
leader in VistA development and implementation outside the Veterans Administration, announces a successful implementation of Free/Open Source VistA medical information software in a family practice outpatient clinic. The implementation has had no downtime since May 2004 when it was introduced to the Spring Branch Community Health Center (SBCHC) established by Dr. Patrick McColloster. Dr.McColloster has stated that the software is very successful for SBCHC. The recently opened Spring Branch Community Health Center Dedication is scheduled for June 30, 2004 at 7:00 p.m. at its location on the corner of Kempwood and Blalock, Houston, Texas.

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Norway’s 2nd Largest City Moves Health & Education to Linux

Following on the heels of Munich Germany and then Paris France. “ZDNet”:,39020330,39157677,00.htm is reporting that the second largest city in Norway is replacing it’s Unix and Windows infrastructure with 64 bit SuSe Linux on HP machines and IBM BladeCenters.
The city CTO “in this interview”:,39020463,39157746,00.htm states that reduced complexity is one big benefit.

CMS, VHA to Make Electronic Records Available to Outside Providers

June 14, 2004 — The Veterans Health Administration is working with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on a project to offer the benefits of electronic medical records to other providers, Federal Telemedicine News reports. VistA-Lite, a version of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ VistA system that incorporates EHRs and computerized physician order entry, will be updated to meet the practice needs and financial considerations of outside clinics and physician offices. Thanks to David Derauf for this article.

Continue reading announces its support of OpenEMR announces that it will be offering support services for OpenEMR as well as OSCAR. Support services include installation, customization, server/data maintenance, as well as custom programming.

The programmers at are working on converting the OSCAR USA SOAPwizard component from jsp to php in order to give OpenEMR a much stronger progress note templating capability. The conversion to php will also make the SOAPwizard able to be integrated with other php projects such as FreeMed. Troy Jordan, managing partner of HealthWare, LLC and owner of, said he chooses to contibute to OpenEMR because he was impressed with its intuitiveness and its integration of FreeB, an open source billing module.

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Nominations Open for 2004 Linux Medical News Achievement Award

Nominations are officially open for the 4th annual Linux Medical News Software Achievement Award to be presented at the September 7th-12th Medinfo Fall conference in San Francisco, California. Deadline for entries is July 15th, 2004. Currently this is NOT a officially sponsored event of AMIA/IMIA. Open source software isn’t ‘magic pixie dust’ and there are real people making significant personal sacrifices as well as doing difficult work to make medicine’s free software future a reality. This award is intended to honor the individul or project who has accomplished the most towards the goal of improving medical education and practice through free/open source medical software. The award winner is chosen by a panel of judges. Past recipients have been Tim Cook of Open Paradigms, K.S. Bhaskar of Sanchez Computer Associates and Thomas Beale of Ocean Informatics.

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CanadianEMR Blog: Open Source EMR vs. Commercial EMR

CanadianEMR’s Blog has an posting debating the relative merits of Open Source vs. Closed EMR’s. The author of the blog posting is a bit pessimistic speaking about it as being in the future. I wonder if he knows about the Canadian born OSCAR project available right now with service contracts? ‘The ‘open source’ EMR debate is one that has raged on for years. The concept is quite straightforward, open the code for a particular EMR system. Allow end users to modify and adapt the program so that enhancements can be progressively built into the EMR system. Share the experience of the end-users with others in the open source environment. Progressively the software will improve and will achieve greater functionality. More important, through the participation of 1000’s (hopefully) of users, there is reduced likelihood that the software would become outdated and that the vendor may fail. At least that is the theory…’