Latest Blog Posts

'Ginger' Price joins Open Health News

We have some great news for our readers. Virginia ("Ginger") Price has joined Open Health News (OHNews) as a partner and senior editor. Ginger is one of the most respected and well recognized health IT expets in the US. She has over 30 years experience in designing, building, implementing, and managing complex standards-based Health IT solutions, including driving adoption strategies to increase clinician and person centered use of those solutions. Read More »

Help Fred Trotter Make Doctor Data Transparent [Updated]

[Update 12/4/2012-The project funding blew past all expectations and it's almost at $40,000. Goals have been extended...] Just came across a great project that our friend Fred Trotter has posted in the crowdsouring site Medstartr...Fred has recently changed his focus to making healthcare data transparent and accessible to patients so they can make informed decisions about their care. Fred is seeking funding from Medstartr for the project, Next Level Doctor Social Graph, and he is almost there but needs one last bit of funding to meet his goals...

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Health Care for All? Really?

Health Care for everyone...  On the whole, it sounds like a wonderful idea, doesn't it?  It's the  right thing to do.  Seems there's a funny little thing called the Law of Unintended Consequences, where  an intervention in a complex system tends to create unanticipated and often undesirable outcomes.  So the intended solution makes a problem worse, it actually has a perverse incentive that causes actions opposite to what was intended.

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OSEHRA 2012 Open Source EHR Summit Opens to Capacity Audience - Live Blog

The 1st Annual Open Source EHR Summit & Workshop opened to a capacity audience of nearly 400 participants today at the Gaylord National Conference center at National Harbor in Maryland today This is the conference held by Open Source Electronic Health Records Agent (OSEHRA) organization, the custodial agent of the code for the U.S Department of Veteran's Affairs' (VA) open source VistA EHR. The conference has a packed agenda with more that 30 speakers. We will be blogging live from the conference with a few bits and pieces and will follow up with a more extensive set of articles later on.

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Personal Note on Tablets: Trying to keep pace with new Computer Technology

Time is passing and like everyone, I'm trying to keep pace with the ever changing field of computer technology. Nowadays, my trusty desktop computer sits quietly in an out of the way corner of my house functioning primarily as a backup system and LAN server – providing access to shared files and my printer. Read More »

How large is the global 'open source' Health IT community?

If you look at each of the simple links to 'Open' Health IT projects or software products on the COSI 'Open' Health web site [or the Resources Section of Open Health News]  it doesn't make much of an impression on you.  BUT, take another look and think about it for a minute. Read More »

'Open' Revolution #10 - Solutions

A Strategic Plan for the U.S. to Succeed in this 21st Century 'Information Age'

In this final blog in my series on the 'Open Revolution', my focus has shifted to 'solutions.'  What can we do in the U.S. to restore the American Dream and guide our country through this transition from the 'Industrial Age' of the 1900's into the 21st century 'Information Age'. Read More »

Transitioning into a 21st Century Economy - How long will it take?

Just a quick note and observation about the global economic revolution that is well underway as we move deeper into the 21st century and the 'Information Age'.. Read More »

'Open' Education & Training Resources for Healthcare

There are now a tremendous number of high quality 'Open' Education & Training resources and tools that major healthcare provider organizations, universities, colleges, and medical schools ought to seriously consider exploring. These include 'open source' software, 'open access' materials (textbooks, journals, etc.), 'open data', 'open communities', and much more. Read More »

Open Health News 2012 Readers Choice: Most viewed 'Open Source' eHealth software

The global 'open source' software movement continues to grow and strengthen, especially in the field of healthcare. Based on the number of hits by readers of Open Health News (OHN) on links to 'open source' eHealth systems, the following are their top choices of interest:  Read More »

OHN 2012 Readers Choice: Most visited 'Open Data' sources of health information

The global 'Open Data' movement continues to grow and strengthen. Each month, the number of new 'open data' web sites and resources increases. Based on the number of hits by Open Health News (OHN) readers on links to 'open data' sources of health information, the following are their top choices:  Read More »

OHN 2012 Readers Choice: Most visited links to 'Open Access' Journals

The global 'open access' movement continues to grow and strengthen. Based on the number of hits by our Open Health News (OHN) readers on links to 'open access' eHealth and Medical journals, the following are their top choices:  Read More »

Health Classes in Today's Schools

Do you remember taking health class in junior high or high school? I remember it vaguely A series of very boring classes with lessons about the food pyramid and some other stuff that I really can't recall. I'm not sure I ever did anything with what I was taught. Read More »

Public Health & Biosurveillance in the U.S.

What has been going on across the country with regards to local health departments, public health services, and biosurveillance programs? Here's a quick update based on information being disseminated by the National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO). Read More »

Latest report about the economic impact of 'open source' on small & mid-size businesses

I ran across this recent report entitled "Economic Impact of Open Source on Small Business: A Case Study" and thought you might also find it of interest. It was written by Mike Hendrickson, Roger Magoulas, Tim O'Reilly and released in July 2012. You can download this free report at Read More »

Predictive Medicine & 'Open' Health IT Systems

The coming decades will see a continued shift from a focus on contemporary medicine practices to preventive medicine, predictive medicine, and regenerative medicine. Read More »

The DoD AHLTA closed proprietary system vs. the VistA open source success

I was involved with both the initial design of the VA VistA EHR system and the DoD CHCS system.  My goal was to create an interoperable, common infrastructure that would support local customization as well as inter-agency sharing of information. VA took an open source, evolutionary approach with VistA.  It has won awards, enjoyed tremendous user acceptance, and saved lives through improved health care delivery.  It was a key technology to the remarkable organizational transformation documented in Philip Longman's Best Care Anywhere.  Today, a complete VistA EHR stack is available as FOSS software.

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"One Piece at a Time" - next generation federal health IT architecture

The details for the Integrated Electronic Health Record (IEHR) are just now beginning to roll out.   It's pretty much a replay of the "Best of Breed" marketing approach that I've seen been pitched for decades.  Basically, collect all the parts and the Read More »

'Open' Health IT Architecture

I have had some major issues with IT Architects over the years and the many prolific and useless dissertations they produce that are usually of little real value or practical use to senior IT managers responsible for day-to-day operations.  That does not mean that I don't appreciate the need for a good, practical IT architectural blueprint or roadmap that will help one make better decisions about the technology to acquire and implement to best meet the operational business needs of the organization for the future. What follows is a high level management introduction to 'Open' Health IT Architecture for those who are new to this whole arena. Read More »

'Open' Health IT Standards

Mention standards and my eyes usually start to glaze over. However, standards can be exciting and do matter, especially to businesses, because they may have to ensure that their products interoperate with the dominant industry standards if they are to succeed. Where standards don't exist, a particular business may try to ensure the proprietary specifications they have been using to develop their own products become the industry standard that others must follow. This will give them an edge or head-start on their competitors. However, the optimum approach for both consumers and industry as a whole is for a truly collaborative and set of 'open standards' to emerge that all companies must adhere to. Read More »

European Union eHealth Task Force Report

The European Union eHealth Task Force just released a report entitled "Redesigning Health in Europe for 2020".   This is an excellent and concise report on changes the EU nations need to make to radically improve the way these countries and their citizens manage and receive health care. The report focuses on how to achieve a vision of affordable, less intrusive and more personalized care. Their vision calls on the use of Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) and 'open' access to healthcare data to increase the quality of life and improve mortality rates for its citizens.

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Tablet Computers, Open Source, & Healthcare

The tablet market has experienced rapid growth over the last two years. It has outpaced other computer devices at a similar point in their lifecycle.  In fact, shipments of tablet computer devices may exceed 350 million units by 2016 according to various estimates from various  industry experts. The medical community, in particular, has taken to tablets in droves over the past year and sales show no signs of slowing.  The reason is that clinicians have found tablet computer devices to be a user-friendly product that readily fits into their clinical business practices.  Read More »

U.N. E-Gov Survey 2012: E-Government for the People

According to the latest E-Government survey by the United Nations, progress in online service delivery continues in most countries around the world. The U.N. E-Gov Survey 2012 found that many countries have put in place e-government initiatives and information and communication technologies (ICT) applications for the people to further enhance public sector efficiencies and streamline governance systems to support sustainable development. Among the e-government leaders, innovative technology solutions have gained special recognition as the means to revitalize lagging economic and social sectors. Read More »

Munnecke to Reveal the Secrets to the Success of VistA

Our readers will have a unique and extraordinary opportunity tomorrow, May 10th, to participate in a webinar where Tom Munnecke, one of the pioneers of VistA and one of the world's leading experts in health information technology, will discuss the key factors that led to the success of the VA's VistA. Today VistA is recognized as the world's best hospital-based EHR. 

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Loosening the rules for consumer access to OTC drugs

Some naysayers from the drug industry are strenuously objecting to a Food & Drug Administration (FDA) proposal that could make more prescription-only drugs — such as those to treat asthma, migraines, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol — more accessible without having to schedule a doctors appointment. “Medicine needs to take medical care to where the patients are,” Janet Woodcock, Director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, testified at a hearing in March. See Internal Medicine News. Read More »