Category Archives: Uncategorized

Two Medical Clinics Choose OpenEMR

San Diego, California — May 20, 2004 — Pennington Firm, an open source software development company, is chosen by two clinics to implement the open source electronic medical record (EMR) application OpenEMR.

Clinics choosing OpenEMR in May 2004 are:

Tustin Occupational Medical Group of Tustin, California; and
Bio-Tech Prosthetics and Orthotics of Durham, Inc.

Pennington Firm is delivering OpenEMR with CMS 1500 (formerly HCFA 1500) billing support, and connection to a clearinghouse for the processing of claims. OpenEMR is a full featured, practice management, electronic medical record and prescription writing application that can serve as a direct open source replacement for proprietary medical applications such as Medical Manager, HealthPro and MegaWest.

Open source applications, such as OpenEMR, free clinics of the monopoly lock-in of proprietary medical software, allows customization to meet 100% of the clinics needs, allows support to be provided by your internal technical resources or the vendor of your choice, and eliminates the possibility that your clinic’s software will be orphaned at the election of the software vendor.

OpenEMR is designed for the stable and secure Linux operating system, but can also be installed on UNIX or Windows with the Apache web server. OpenEMR is a free, open source application that can be downloaded, installed and used without any user or license fees.

Making Open WebMail Work

Thanks to J. Antas for this article on ‘Recently I was asked to provide Internet e-mail to a large segment of our hospital community. The mail had to be standards-based to provide the widest compatibility base possible for the 3,000 people who might have need of it. It had to be Web-based, but not overly complicated, and it had to employ open source (read “free”) tools to help keep the budget down. Finally, it had to be secure, to comply with HIPAA regulations. To meet those requirements, I deployed Open Webmail, Sendmail, and Red Hat Linux 9 on a 1U IBM Linux machine…’

Yet Another Java Based FOSS PMS application

Just read on freshmeat about a new java based Practice Management System that is being developed under the GPL. Has anyone ever heard of openPMS? Most interesting is that they are claiming to support X12 and HCFA-1500 billing! One wonders why they did not simply join an existing project I wonder if they know about FreeB? It would be nice to have another free and open source X12 implmentation to study!

AMA steps in as WebMD drops the ball

There is an article at Information Week regarding a letter that the AMA has sent to WebMD. From the article: ‘…The American Medical Association has sent a letter to WebMD Corp.,likely the medical industry’s most powerful player in electronic insurance-claims processing, complaining that it has mishandled claims submitted by doctors resulting in “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in delayed and denied payments, InformationWeek has learned. WebMD acknowledges there have been problems, but attributes them to implementing a new process…
Hmm, sounds like vendor lock in to me…
I wonder if this will drive people towards
better solutions

Much Activity on AMIA OS-WG List

The recently established American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Open Source Working Group e-mail list is showing a lot of activity. Currently this is a member-only benefit, but may become open to the public in the future. A request for short biographies of list members by myself yielded an impressive membership. It also yielded several previously unknown to Linux Medical News Free/Open Source projects and companies worth knowing about. Read more for full descriptions: OpenRCT, EvalSuite, Epimetrics group, Openkaart,
Prot�g�, caCORE. Apologies to those I’ve missed.

The Open Remote Collaboration Tool (OpenRCT) is a multidisciplinary effort to enhance collaboration – between students working together, between students and instructional staff, and between researchers who are not co-located in time and space. OpenRCT is an Open Source platform-independent, multimedia tool that supports synchronous and/or asynchronous communication. It can be used for group discussions, collaborative assignments, collaborative research, and distance communication.

Civil servants and MPs on open source in UK

An interesting exchange of views among civil servants and MPs in the UK, specifically in the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament. The report of proceedings takes place in the context of discussions about trials of open source within public services, including the health services, in the UK. (also see earlier LMN item UK National Health Service Orders Trial of Linux by I. Valdes on Monday December 08) The report is at:

TEMPO software for 3D visualization of EEG recordings available

I just completed setup for my TEMPO open source software for 3D visualization of EEG activity at TEMPO is able to read EEG recordings in standard EDF format and (if enough EEG channels available) to create animation of corresponding topographic maps over 3D human head model. TEMPO is Linux software, using OpenGL library for 3D rendering and GTK+ toolkit for GUI. Project home page is at

FreeMED packaging problem

The FreeMED Project is about to release some signifigant improvements to FreeMED. The recent split of Fedora and Redhat Enterprise Linux has resulted in quite a conundrum for us. What platform should we target support for? We are already commited to supporting Debian (and that is a lot more important now) and we have considered supporting Windows with MySQL and Apache installed. What platforms/distributions would the LMN community suggest that we support?
Fred Trotter

FreeMED is a php based application and relies on a broad spectrum of the functionality of the language. This means that we need to have a healthy version of the code, which Redhat Linux 9.0 does not offer as an rpm. Both Fedora 1.0 and RHEL 3.0 support the correct versions of php, as well as Apache 2. Apache 2 allows us to use the modular configuration file option. Between the two improvments we now have the option to build packages for each system. But we are wondering if it is worth the effort.
What platforms would you prefer?

ZDnet: TCO of Linux is Lower

There has been much debate lately over Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of Linux vs. Windows. This ZDnet article comes down on the side of Linux: “One of the things that Microsoft is starting to lose out on now, and I’m not sure they realize this yet, is that they still claim Windows administrators are cheaper,” Robinson said. “But the flip side of the same coin is that if one of my administrators on a Windows environment can manage only 10 to 15 systems at a time, but my Solaris admin or my NetBSD or my Linux admin can manage 1,000 servers at a time, I need fewer admins. Sure, the salary’s more expensive, but I get more life out of them.”