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[News] Move to Free Software in Healthcare Not Just a Matter of Money Anymore

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Getting Beyond Economics

,----[ Quote ]
| It is a given that the adoption of health information technology (HIT) by 
| health care providers has the potential to effect quantum leaps in the 
| quality and level of health care, medical research and public health. That 
| means increased efficiency, safety and efficacy. Although the economic cost 
| of implementing the electronic health record (EHR) is frequently cited as a 
| major barrier to adoption, many have expressed concerns about matters of 
| patient privacy, the need to protect the confidentiality of physician-patient 
| communications (a sine qua non of high-quality patient care), and 
| interference with workflow, among others, as reasons not to embrace a 
| universal EHR.          
| [...]
| What's more, because of the open-source nature of its license, the code is 
| freely available, and users may make improvements without running afoul of 
| copyright restrictions. Certification by the Commission for Certification of 
| Health Information Technology (www.cchit.org) was announced on May 1. The 
| implications of open-source WorldVistA and other open-source EHR systems (see 
| www.openehr.org) are huge.      
| [...]
| In many ways, the discussion of open source in EHR systems mirrors what is 
| occurring in the current debate about electronic voting.  



Open source software for health investigated

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| 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

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| 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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