Open source software for hospital use.

HIT Consultant Blog: “…But bringing state-of-the-art technology to health care is expensive, often running well into eight figures. Still, there are ways to keep the cost down and also provide excellent care. Forbes caught up with David Whiles, CIO of Midland Memorial Hospital in Midland, Texas, to look at ways to save huge amounts of money without sacrificing quality…So what did you do? – We came across the VistA (Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture) system, which was developed by the Veterans Administration. That’s used by all the 160-plus VA hospitals in the United States, plus all of their outpatient ambulatory clinics. It’s been in use by the Veterans Administration for more than 20 years. It’s a very mature system. It’s won a number of accolades from the Institute of Medicine.” – Imagine that, open source software being used in a hospital. The software may be a few years old, but thinking outside the box and implementing open source software in a hospital sure sounds cutting edge to me. Where do I apply?

3 thoughts on “Open source software for hospital use.”

  1. You should grab a copy and take it for a spin to evaluate it. If it’s open sourced you should be able to contribute changes, if you need them, back to the project. Might be a nice fit?

  2. I know that Oroville Hospital in California is now in the process of implementing VistA. It will be interesting to see how it goes – they are expecting good things (and huge cost savings!). What’s interesting to me is that it seems that a lot of VA pharmacists complain about VistA being antiquated and not having the tools they need while at the same time hearing accolades for how well the system works. Then again, there is no system (that I know of) that does EVERYTHING well, but do some things well and fall short in other areas…

  3. Hi Konrad – It is interesting to hear the different views of VistA depending on who you talk to. The idea of open source software is appealing to me for one reason; a strong IT department can mold it into anything you want. Now, finding a strong IT department is a completely different issue. Thanks for the information.

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