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[News] Free Software Sneaks Into Healthcare in the US

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A Glass Slipper?

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| Meanwhile, Whiles is highly satisfied with the Medsphere open-source VistA 
| system's functionality. “I would put open-source VistA up against Epic or any 
| product any day,” he opines. “No system is a panacea, and neither is open 
| VistA. There are certain functional areas that are not well-developed, simply 
| because of the background, such as women's and children's services, OB/GYN, 
| and pediatrics, labor and delivery; but that's simply because the VA doesn't 
| provide those services.” But as other hospitals begin to implement Medsphere 
| open-source VistA, he says, those clinical areas will add functionality over 
| time.        


Medsphere's Open Source Health Upgrade

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| Medsphere is the provider for OpenVista, the commercial open source 
| implementation of the Veteran's Adminsitration's VistA package. Medsphere 
| spent the better part of the last seven years customizing it for commercial 
| use, extending the ecosystem around it to make a commercial version, and 
| driving acceptance of it in various. There are over two hundred different 
| installations of OpenVista in use right now, both in hospitals around the 
| U.S. and in the Indian Health Service (the latter of which accounts for a 
| fair percent of that installed base). Hospitals like Midland Memorial 
| Hospital (in Texas) have been using OpenVista and reaping its benefits for 
| some time now.         



Will New Certification Criteria Fuel Open Source E-Health Records?

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| But moving forward, new certification "paths" recently announced by CCHIT
| will be a boost for modular software packages, especially those from smaller
| software vendors and open source developers, as well as their potential
| customers, including doctor practices that don't need fancier software tools,
| as well as health care organizations that have a hybrid mix of health IT
| systems featuring legacy and best-of-breed applications.


Healthcare Conference to Focus on Open Source Solutions

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| Panels, presentations, and Birds of a Feather meetings are certainly the
| highlight of next month's Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE), but that's
| not the only thing happening during the event. The Demonstrating Open Source
| Health Care Solutions (DOHCS) conference will be co-located with SCALE and
| both will get underway on Friday, February 20, 2009.

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