EMR Disaster Preparedness

Irv Buchbinder of the “FreeMed”:http://www.freemedsoftware.org Project states: *”FreeMED Software Foundation realizes in the wake of a tragedy like Katrina, that much has been lost. One of the stunning and yet to be measured losses is medical records of patients. Even with backups, much of the records which may have been electronic were destroyed. For the many whose physicians kept paper records, the losses are most likely catastrophic.”* Read More for the rest of his comments.
In the wake of Katrina and the mess that has become of medical records, not to mention the bleating in the media about the lack of security in medical records, we, the FreeMED Software Foundation offer this to the medical public:

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FreeMED Software Foundation announces the release of FreeMED 0.8.0 and REMITT 0.3

On Monday September 12, 2005, version 0.8.0 of FreeMED is scheduled for release to the community. FreeMED is a computerized and electronic medical record as well as practice management system for medical practices and institutions. Along with the new version of FreeMED are updated versions of REMITT, the electronic billing package and phpwebtools, the toolkit for FreeMED. There is also a launch of a new homepage for FreeMED, located at http://freemedsoftware.org. REMITT 0.3 is being released under the GPL instead of being dual licensed with the MPL to provide a greater range of license compatibility options to the community.

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VistA Office EHR Pending Review

The highly-anticipated VistA Office EHR release by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is ‘on hold..undergoing review’ according to this Government Health IT News article: ‘…The release of free electronic health record (EHR) software that physicians could download from the Department of Health and Human Services has been delayed indefinitely, a department official said yesterday.

Dr. Karen Bell, division director of the Quality Improvement Group at HHS� Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told a conference audience that VistA-Office �is undergoing a review right now by the secretary�s office.� You can�t download anything� now…’

ZDnet: Interviews Larry Augustin of Medsphere

I know that this is a bit old, published August 17th, but I’ve been BUSY. ZDnet news has an interview with Medsphere CEO Larry Augustin formerly of VA Linux fame. Of note is the financial package that they’ve built for VistA: ‘…”It is our intention to build an open source project around the core of that public domain code,” Augustin said in an interview. However, the company also plans to sell proprietary software modules � for example, the original VA code can’t handle billing, so Medsphere plans to build an extension to handle that, Augustin said. “Right now that stuff is not open source.”…’ Recent discussion on the hardhats weekly conference call was about interfacing FreeB with VistA.