OSEHRA’s Open Source Vision

The Open Source Electronic Health Record Alliance (OSEHRA) https://www.osehra.org released a White Paper in April describing what a national healthcare IT infrastructure might look like if the Veterans Administration (VA) www.va.gov choses to take a leadership role.

The challenge for OSEHRA was to synthesize a document that discusses a shared vision on dealing with the issues while staying focused on the open source mission. The White Paper is a composite of many thoughts and ideas on how to solve the problem and be involved in the process.

According to the White Paper, the VA’s health IT ecosystem needs are uniquely vast in scope and expansive in scale and operate as a single provider network for nearly 9 million veterans. The VA is also the only provider that maintains a lifetime longitudinal record for all patients.

The VA realizes that their health IT systems need an upgrade, however the VA’s VistA system has hindered attempts to upgrade. The problem is that the VA hospital’s reliance on IT system based on local needs, makes standardization difficult across the VA.

The Choice Act has increased the urgency for standardization and upgrade since more and more veterans will receive care from commercial providers. This will require VA IT systems to exchange health data with virtually every EHR system.

There currently is no commercial system available to address either the scope or scale of the VA’s mega system needs. The paper points out that the VA should adopt the full cycle of open source strategy from design, testing, integration, all the way to deployment.

Go to https://www.osehra.org/post/orehra-vision-document-released to view the White Paper titled “An Open Source Community Vision for a National health IT Ecosystem Using Open Source for Public-Private Collaboration”.

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