Category Archives: Interesting Developments

Live from FOSSHealth in Houston Texas

We are live from the FOSSHealth conference in Houston, schedule here. Bill Vass of Sun (still not Oracle yet he confirms) NHIN CONNECT Efforts is talking about the difference between FOSS and proprietary in which RSA was openly and rigorously examined by experts and remains quite secure except for brute force methods, while the the closed proprietary Clipper chip was not and was broken within 48 hours…competition for support occurs with FOSS licensing whereas proprietary vendors can sit back and say hmmm, how much to have an America’s Cup entry this year?… More after the break.

How the HIT Lobby is Pushing Experimental and Unsafe Technology on Unconsented Patients and Clinicians

Scot Silverstein has a must-read article reacting to the recent Washington Post article on Health IT lobbying: “…A lot of voices were left out of that trade group’s lobbying. That trade group’s massive conflicts of interest also seem to have blinded it to the longstanding concerns of experts in medical informatics that current approaches to health IT are insufficient and may impair healthcare quality initiatives (let’s be frank about what that really means – it means patient harm)…”

WP: The Machinery Behind Health-Care Reform

“How an Industry Lobby Scored a Swift, Unexpected Victory by Channeling Billions to Electronic Records” The Washington Post has an eye-opening article on what really happened with the Health IT stimulus bill. It looks like Buckminister Fuller’s GRUNCH of Giants is alive and well. I now see the connection between HIMSS, Partners and AMIA. I’ve often wondered why AMIA has always been dominated by the Northeast/Massachutsetts crowd, why things like the Linux Medical News Freedom Award has been given such a cold reception year after year, and why AMIA leaders seem to hold such contradictory positions to AMIA’s mission. Things like government intervention bad (but we lobbied for it secretly), taxpayer money good, proprietary vendors good, physicians and taxpayers in perpetual financial servitude good. Now I know. That the health IT in the stimulus bill isn’t a social experiment at best (I’m being charitable) or simply a wealth transfer to proprietary vendors and government at worst is evident. Prove me wrong.

Testifying on ‘meaningful use’

Fred Trotter writes: I have recently been asked to testify at the NCVHS hearings on meaningful use (see forwarded message below). This is very likely because I have been working as a representative of the FOSS community with CCHIT to resolve the basic incompatibility with current CCHIT certification and FOSS EHR systems. For a decent summary you can read the CCHIT category on my blog or read some of the mainstream blogs: slashdot and ZDnet

Now I will be asked to testify on what ‘Meaningful Use’ of EHR systems means from a FOSS perspective. I am having discussions on what I should cover on both Hardhats (VistA community) and OpenHealth (larger FOSS community). Feel free to email me off-line (fred dot trotter at gmail dot com) or simply reply to this thread, with your thoughts.

Senator Rockefeller Introduces Open Source EHR Act

According to this press release: “Washington, D.C. —Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV today introduced legislation that will facilitate nationwide adoption of electronic health records, particularly among small, rural providers. The Health Information Technology Public Utility Act of 2009 will build upon the successful use of “open source” electronic health records by the Department of Veterans Affairs as well as the “open source exchange model,” which was recently expanded among federal agencies through the Nationwide Health Information Network-Connect initiative…”

Fred Trotter On Preventing An Anti-FOSS Policy In Health IT

opensourcereleasefeed has a interview with Fred Trotter on CCHIT certification/HIMSS and the new Health IT landscape with respect to Free/Open Source:

“If you care about FOSS generally, I need you to show up at the HIMSS meeting. If you care about FOSS in Health IT, it is especially important that you be there. I believe that FOSS is the only real hope for untangling the mess that is Health IT. If you find any of these arguments compelling, show up. If you cannot show up, call in. If you cannot call in, then comment on the openhealth mailing list. (…HIMSS on the other hand, has consistently refused to consider FOSS players as real constituents. They are essentially a proprietary vendor lobby on par with the Business Software Alliance. My blog post points to some very specific examples of this….I can tell you that in Health IT, FOSS is the future.”

Yikes — Health care overhaul: $646 billion [to be announced tomorrow]

Health care overhaul: $646 billion

February 25, 2009: 5:12 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Two White House officials told CNN Wednesday that the proposed budget to be released Thursday will include a $646 billion health care “reserve fund,” which is intended to help pay to overhaul the nation’s health care system.

One of the officials said the administration sees health care as key to the nation’s fiscal health and called the fund a down payment on President Barack Obama’s effort to reform health care.

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