Nominations Open for 2005 Linux Medical News Freedom Award

Nominations are officially open for the 5th annual Linux Medical News Freedom (formerly Achievement) Award to be presented at the October 22nd-26th AMIA Fall conference in Washington, D.C. Deadline for entries is July 30th, 2005. Currently this is NOT a officially sponsored event of AMIA. Free and 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, K.S. Bhaskar — Fidelity Information Services, Inc., Thomas Beale — Ocean Informatics and Fred Trotter — Uversa and FreeB project.

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National Association of Rural Health Centers

National Association of Rural Health Centers (NARHC) supported a widely viewed EMR presentation which dismissed open source EMR’s as wishful thinking and not appropriate for any public non-profit rural health center. What follows is a discussion between an open source CottageMed developer and Roger Erickson, a well-informed open source supporter, regarding the contrarian views of presenter Kerry Casperson and the NARHC.

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Press Release: Hui OpenVistA 3.0 Released to WorldVistA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 20, 2005 The Pacific Telehealth & Technology Hui (“Hui”) announced the completion of Hui OpenVista 3.0, the first major upgrade of the software since June 2003. In a technology transfer initiative, the Hui released the software upgrade to WorldVistA for use as a baseline in developing OpenVista 4.0.

The Hui development team made several key enhancements to Hui OpenVista –
most notably a more streamlined configuration process. Release 3.0 provides
a preconfigured baseline system that simplifies the steps needed to convert
the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) version of VistA to OpenVista. This
enables users to quickly download the baseline as a starting point for
configuring the system to their specific requirements.

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Irish Hospital Struggles to Stay Open Source

This article discusses the struggle between the chief executive and the IT manager in an Irish hospital to stay open source instead of spending ‘e2 million’ on proprietary software: ‘…Mr Kenny claimed that the decision had the potential to commit the hospital to an investment of around e2 million and that nothing resembling a clear business case to justify the outlay had been produced.
Mr Kenny acknowledged that Beaumont Hospital was the only organisation in the health service that had adopted an �Open Source� strategy to date.
�Yet this has in no way disadvantaged us in fully participating in the interchange of data with other agencies,� he explained…’
Mr Kenny, the IT manager, appears to be making a courageous effort.

NetEpi Case Manager V0.9 (late beta) available

Version 0.9 of NetEpi Case Manager is now available here. NetEpi Case Manager is a tool for securely collecting structured information about cases and contacts of communicable (and other) diseases of public health importance, through Web browsers and the Internet. New data collection forms can be designed and deployed quickly by epidemiologists, using a Web browser ‘point-and-click’ interface, without the need for knowledge of or training in any programming language.

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Community Project Support for FreeMED

The FreeMED project is seeking physicians with experience in Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, community based OB/GYN, or Pediatric practice to assist with project development maturation. We also welcome Nurses or Nurse Practioners working in these fields. Because of our project worldview, we are also seeking those in the wider world community with expertise in these areas to work with the project.

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FreeMED Foundation Seeks Board Members

FreeMED Software Foundation, a nonprofit corporation seeking to support and encourage development in the OpenSource communities, particularly in Healthcare IT and informatics is seeking new members for its Board of Trustees.

The Foundation is seeking to expand its Board of Trustees and re-invogorate our development and ongoing process of leading edge innovation.

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Working within the community

Four Community Clinics in California recently selected the open source project ClearHealth as the new Practice Management Software (PMS) for their clinic business operations. The four rural safety net clinics in Mendocino County provided 70,000 office visits to 14,000 patients during 2004. In July 2004 the clinics began a project to find a new software partner. In January 2005, after six months review of clinic workflows and software requirements, vendors were invited to submit proposals. Evaluation of five vendor proposals culminated in May 2005 with the selection of ClearHealth software from Uversa Consulting of Mesa, Arizona. The replacement PMS project calls for a pilot implementation of the new software to begin in December 2005 after integration of various user interface improvements into the open source ClearHealth project.

Health I.T. Bill Asks for $4 Billion

Health Data Management has an article about a Bill that calls for $4 billion in health care IT spending over 5 years: ‘Bipartisan legislation introduced in the Senate on June 13 would authorize $4.05 billion in grants to providers over five years to adopt interoperable information technology.

Senate Bill 1227, from Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), also would authorize Medicare incentive payments to offset the cost of I.T., and enable providers to deduct I.T. investments from federal taxes.

Under the legislation, providers could apply for grants not to exceed $1 million for a hospital; $200,000 for a skilled nursing facility; $150,000 for a federally qualified health center; $75,000 for a community mental health center; $15,000 per physician for a group practice; and $15,000 for an individual physician…’