News

Open Source Passion at POSSCON: Scott McNealy Headlines SC Event

I just returned from POSSCON (Palmetto Open Source Conference) in Columbia, South Carolina.  For a regional open source event, attendance at 700 was pretty sweet (and so was the Southern hospitality!).  Conference attendees range from large commercial organizations to universities to students.  While there are many developer events on the “left coast” there are few in the southeast (which, BTW, is home to large developer shops including Red Hat, SAS Institute, Bank of America, etc.), and this is a good one.   It’s unique, with session tracks covering educational topics, big picture ideas/themes, demos (SugarCRM, Alfresco, SkySQL, etc.) and more.

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Siaya District Hospital in Kenya Goes Live With OpenEMR

The Siaya District Hospital in Kenya has just implemented the 'open source' electronic medical record (EMR) system called OpenEMR with the help of Medigrail, a small privately held California-based health information technology (IT) company. According to a recent update posted on the OpenEMR wiki, an implementation team composed of Medigrail and Siaya District Hospital staff worked closely together on this project for over six months to ensure its success. Initial installation of the computer servers, network technology, and the OpenEMR software system began back in late 2011. The system finally went live in early April 2012.

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African Open Source IDLELO5 Conference a Great Success

The IDLELO5 Open Source conference in Africa has been a tremendous success. The five-day conference brought over 300 participants from 18 African nations as well as Germany, Ireland, Spain, and the USA to Abuja, Nigeria. As regular readers of Open Health News should know, Africa has become a hotbed for the development of open source technology solutions that are innovative, beautifully designed, and inexpensive to deploy and use. Dr. Francis Ohanyido, one of the organizers of the conference, and his assistant, Rose Agbaeze, were kind enough to write a report on the conference which we publish below.

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Malek: Health information technology is a tower of Babel, by intent

But the Institute of Medicine — as well as subsequent federal policy — did not specifically recommend the VA system’s route toward computerization: To use a single, popular software language to connect every hospital and doctor’s office. Instead, under Bush era policy — which has been continued through the Obama years, new agencies and programs were created to promote wider electronic health records adoption....Unsurprisingly, given the rush to quickly gain market share, these software products have been a huge disappointment to providers: They are falling far short of their potential to improve quality of care, and it will require years of use — and substantial upgrades of the software — to even think about the possibility that electronic health records adoption will ever actually reduce health care costs. If the late Steve Jobs were forced to use any of these products, he would be appalled at the primitive functionality doctors and nurses are contending with...

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POSSCON 2012: Overview of the OpenEMR Project

POSSCON 2012 starts tomorrow. If you get the chance to attend the Palmetto Open Source Software Conference (POSSCON 2012) this month in Columbia, SC, make sure you see the presentation on OpenEMR by Dr. Sam Bowen, President, Open Source Medical Software. Read More »

Grid Engine Continues to Thrive As Open Source and Commercial Software

More than a year ago, Oracle made a decision that while not unexpected within the HPC community was nonetheless met with no small measure of concern. In December 2010, Oracle announced that Grid Engine (a very popular life science cluster scheduler and distributed resource manager that Oracle inherited via its purchase of Sun Microsystems) would no longer be freely available as an open-source product. Oracle's decision to make Grid Engine available only to commercially licensed customers left a large community of scientific and high performance computing users questioning the viability of their long term technical planning and HPC roadmaps.

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CTO Todd Park Continues to Champion 'Open Data' & Innovation

Todd Park, CTO for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), spoke at the recent South by SouthWest (SXSW) Interactive 2012 conference held in Austin, Texas. His presentation focused on innovation, startups, and examples of key HHS projects he has championed, e.g. the Healthcare.Gov web site and the Community 'Open' Health Data Initiative. Read More »

'Open Access' Movement Wins Another Battle

Shortly after publishing giant Elsevier withdrew its support of the Research Works Act (RWA), its Congressional sponsors pronounced the bill dead. The proposed legislation would have done away with federal policies, like the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) public access policy, that requires recipient's of federal research grants to post their peer-reviewed findings online in open access forums. Read More »

NexJ Wins CRM Watchlist 2012 Award

NexJ, one of the founding members of Open Health Tools (OHT) and an active proponent of open collaboration in the healthcare industry, has just received the prestigious CRM Watchlist 2012 Award. The award is given to CRM companies that have "Awesome possibilities." Paul Greenberg, widely recognized as one of the world's leading experts in CRM, wrote a detailed article in ZDNet describing the reasons behind the nomination. He has kindly given Open Health News permission to reprint the article in its entirety (see below).

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eCollaboration Forum Takes Center Stage at HIMSS Conference in Vegas

Collaboration and open source solutions are taking center stage at this year's HIMSS conference in Las Vegas. An all day eCollaboration Forum that will take place on Thursday, February 23, has captured the attention of the attendees and promises to be one of the best attended events of the conference. The Forum will explore the creation of collaborative platforms as the foundation for a change from the current fragmented healthcare system to one based on Accountable Care Organizations (ACO's). This is a very successful concept borrowed from open source where communities work around an open source platform.

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