In what could be the next buzzword, J AHIMA has an article on the experience of one Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO): ‘…The pilot project was not without obstacles. One of the most difficult was, and continues to be, overcoming the organization-centric mentality of the leaders of stakeholder organizations. Hospitals and reference laboratories often find it difficult to see any value in participating in community initiatives by offering access to their own information system, especially when they must pay to support the network�s information infrastructure. However, physicians and their offices strongly prefer a single point for accessing patient data�they do not want to visit multiple Web sites, maintain multiple user accounts, and learn different applications. In addition, it is impossible to create a true continuity of care record when healthcare systems remain independent. After the two hospitals in the pilot program began delivering results to physicians electronically, the physicians pushed nonparticipating hospitals to join the community initiative…’ The article mentions that they had to lash together proprietary systems using HL7, some of which did not support HL7. What specific software’s used was not mentioned.

Reader Question: Medical Schools Using FOSS?

Reader Luke Schwankl writes: ‘…I occasionally drop in on the linuxmednews forum, and am always delighted to see that there are folks who continue to push an open source solution to electronic medical records. I will be heading to medical school next fall, (UNC-Chapel Hill) and from what I have seen, the computers they are selling us are all ready to go with solely Windows-based programs. Are you aware of any medical schools that are gravitating toward using more free / open source software? Just thought I’d ask. Thanks for your time…’ Thanks for a great question, Luke for which I have no answer. Do any readers know of schools that are using FOSS software for medical school education instead of the dominant paradigm? In research, such as in bioinformatics, the answer is a definitive yes but that is not your question.

ClearHealth at TEPR May 16th

David Uhlman will be giving a brief presentation on ClearHealth at the TEPR Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software conference in Salt Lake City, Utah May 16th.

The presentation will be available online at the on the ClearHealth site and the Uversa site immediatly following the session. It will also be provided to all attendees on the conference CDROM.

As ClearHealth approaches its 1.0 RC1 release this presentation highlights the key areas of ClearHealth as the first open source suite to offer all of the big 5 capabilities, scheduling, billing, EMR, HIPAA security and accounts receivable in one package.

NLMA works toward OSS provincial EMR

A brief article from the Canadian Medical Association’s Future Practice I publication . . . “The Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association (NLMA) has embarked on a project known as NeLL to electronically link all of the provinces 1000 physicians. The association will develop an electronic medical record (EMR) using open source software (OSS). The project will take an existing open source EMR and expand its functionality, contributing the results of the work back to the open source community.”

The Advantages of Adopting Open Source Software

InformIT has an in-depth summary of the advantages of Free and Open Source Software: According to J. Antas the summary: ‘…focuses on the advantages of going with an open source solution.
It looks at application availability, software costs, license
management, and other issues that must factor into a decision of whether
to adopt open source in your environment.’
Editor’s note: This is also Linux Medical News 1000th posted article.

Linux Planet Interviews Linux Medical News Editor (That’s Me!)

A little shameless self-promotion. Linux Planet has an article about me (and Linux Medical News)! ‘…Valdes said that when he started the LinuxMedNews site it was a tight knit community with a crystal clear idea that FOSS (free and open source software) was the way to go in medicine.

“The idea has become more accepted and may not be revolutionary anymore but it still has skeptics,” he said. “Like everything, having the idea takes 10 minutes and implementing that idea takes years. The major changes are that there is gathering scientific evidence for what the FOSS community is doing and the number of and quality of real-world implementations has grown tremendously…’

Open-Source VistA to emerge in 2005

Editor’s note: Dan Johnson, MD is a distinguished member of the FOSS in medicine community. He holds the distinction of writing the earliest known ideas on the subject. Dan reports the following: First, this is not an “announcement,” in the sense of Grand Hoopla. It is news that a door is creaking open: The Wisconsin QIO (Quality Improvement Organization; formerly known as a PRO – Professional Review Organization), MetaStar (formerly known as
WIPRO), has internally committed to sponsoring a proper open-source distribution of VistA Office, the physician-office-ready version of VistA that is being prepared for August 1st release by CMS (the agency formerly known as HCFA).
What does this mean?

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Free/libre and open source at MIE2005

Members of the IMIA Open Source Working Group and IMIA-NI Open Source Nursing Informatics Working Group (OSNI) have been successful in having several submissions accepted for MIE2005 (the XIX International Congress of the European Federation for Medical Informatics).

There will be a tutorial on open source and health informatics, a paper about the OSNI groups’ use of open source tools, and workshop to explore the need (or otherwise) for a European/EFMI Working Group to complement the IMIA and AMIA groups and give a specific European dimension.

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