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[News] Big New Push for Free Software in Health Sector

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A Response to HIMSS "Call to Action" on the American Recovery and Response Act
of 2009

,----[ Quote ]
| Jeff Soble, Neil Cowles, and Edmund Billings have a response reproduced after 
| the break to HIMSS "Call to Action". This is a sobering look at the American 
| Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 which looks poised to result in the 
| demise of real competition, medical data in the hands of a cartel or monopoly 
| for a few wealthy corporations, loss of privacy and the loss of the physician 
| as the traditional custodian of medical data. Item 3 is salient: "CCHIT works 
| to the benefit of a small number of large EMR vendors that can command a high 
| price from the relatively small segment of the market able to currently 
| afford their products. It is essentially anti-competitive, and establishes a 
| major barrier to entry by new vendors and open source projects (where the 
| majority of innovation will take place)."          


Musician’s back project to fund open source health tools

,----[ Quote ]
| Popular musical artists including Peter Buck of REM and Youssou N’Dour are 
| part of a new project to raise funds to put open source software tools in the 
| hands of African doctors. Partnering with Grammy Award-winning artist N’Dour, 
| global non-profit IntraHealth International is releasing a charity album 
| called OPEN Remix. Artists on the album have donated remixes of N’Dour’s Wake 
| Up song as part of the project.     


Standards of Patient Care

,----[ Quote ]
| If we are to pull back in time from such an Orwellian future of 
| patient "care," we need to remember that there is still an art as well as a 
| science to healing. The time is now, if indeed it is not already too late, to 
| recognize that there are human standards for health care that cannot be 
| quantified, and should not be forgotten.    


More people strongly demand code of programs that manage their lives, so it's
not just about standards.


Open source software for health investigated

,----[ Quote ]
| Open source software is creeping into health systems around the world, but is
| yet to seriously challenge incumbent proprietary software, according to
| experts.
| Otago University health informatics lecturer Muzaffar Malik says core open
| source medical software, such as clinical information system OpenVista, is
| being used in several countries.


Getting Electronic Health Record Standards Right

,----[ Quote ]
| As of this writing, $20 billion of that amount is included in the current
| House draft of the Economic Stimulus bill called for by the new
| administration. The full cost of EHR implementation, including private
| expenditures, has been estimated to be $156 billion over five years, not
| including $20 billion in operational costs. With such a price tag, the
| promise of EHRs had best be realized, or the new administration will have
| some significant explaining to do.


Rewiring the VA

,----[ Quote ]
| Much of the attention of the healthcare industry over the past several weeks
| has been focused on Washington and the various proposals before Congress to
| boost the faltering economy, including spending billions of dollars
| subsidizing health information technology.
| [...]
| The question is whether the Veterans Health Information Systems and
| Technology Architecture, or VistA—the clinical information system that powers
| the VA health system—will wither or bloom in the months and years ahead. It’s
| an issue that has implications not only for millions of veterans but also
| millions of other potential users of open-source and proprietary versions of
| VistA, both in the private and public sectors in the U.S. and abroad.


'Rockefeller Amendment' for Studying Open Source in Stimulus Bill

,----[ Quote ]
| About page 701 of the stimulus bill is a provision for studying Open
| Source: "...(A) the current availability of open source 6 health information
| technology systems to Fed7 eral safety net providers (including small, rural
| 8 providers); 9 (B) the total cost of ownership of such sys10 tems in
| comparison to the cost of proprietary 11 commercial products available; 12
| (C) the ability of such systems to respond 13 to the needs of, and be applied
| to, various pop14 ulations (including children and disabled indi15 viduals);
| and 16 (D) the capacity of such systems to facili17 tate interoperability...'


GNUmed Live CD 0.3.9 released

,----[ Quote ]
| A new GNUmed live CD is out. With the help of this CD one can test drive
| GNUmed without altering the currently running environment such as operating
| system. No installation necessary.


Conficker seizes city's hospital network

,----[ Quote ]
| Staff at hospitals across Sheffield are battling a major computer worm
| outbreak after managers turned off Windows security updates for all 8,000 PCs
| on the vital network, The Register has learned.

Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)


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