The HIMSS17 Conference taking place in Orlando, FL, is clearly the turning point for open source in the healthcare informatio technology industry. Althought the label "open source" is barely mentioned in the program, the fact is the majority of the presentations at the conference are either based directly on open source technologies, or open health concepts. These include the large number of presentations on interoperability, FHIR, and the open/modular Medicaid IT revolution.
As they are winding their terms in office, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden dropped a stink bomb on the health IT industry. Speaking at different events on Friday, January 9th, the President and Vice President both criticized proprietary electronic health record (EHR) vendors as the primary obstacle to the success of their administration’s health care strategy. This is the highest level acknowledgement so far of the serious impact that “lock-in” EHR software vendors are having on America’s medical infrastructure and the ability of physicians to provide medical care.
As we reported in the December 15 issue of OpenMedicaidIT News, Andrew Slavitt, Acting Administrator of CMS, has openly discussed the opportunity offered by CMS' open Medicaid IT strategy in multiple blog posts and meetings. We have reported on this opportunity in an article titled CMS To Invest $5+ Billion a Year in Open Source and Cloud-based IT Infrastructure for Medicaid and recently started a newsletter provide our readers with news of the opportunities for tech companies as they emerge. We reprint here the article from the newsletter presenting that opportunity in Slavitt’s own words.
Major developments in open source health information technology are opening all kinds of opportunities for the members of the OSEHRA community. These developments include the open source strategy embraced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to modernize the state Medicaid IT infrastructure, the rapid adoption of open source APIs, including Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), and the emergence of blockchain technology and middleware solutions to fix the interoperability crisis.
After more than half-a-year of work Open Health News is launching OpenMedicaidIT News, a paid subscription newsletter that will cover the extraordinary developments taking place in federal and state health information technology. The information technology infrastructure for Medicaid, the nation's largest health insurance system, is in the process of a massive transformation towards an open, modular framework based on open source and open solutions, cloud-services, or modular Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) solutions. This new framework is designed to replace the existing monolithic platforms developed in the past 30 to 40 years with modern, agile technology solutions.
OSEHRA is holding a community call today and next Thursday, Sept. 29, with the open health community to discuss the response of the open source community to the recently release RFI by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for a "digital health platform." Notice with details from Seong K. Mun below..."According to the RFI (which is attached to this message), VHA "desires a Next Generation Digital Health Platform that is integrated, future-proof and optimizes the cost of operations. To achieve these goals, VA is considering establish an interoperable digital health platform that leads to Easier Access to Care for the Veteran, Better Outcomes for the Veteran and more efficient operations for the VHA"
The OSEHRA community today submitted a response to the "Draft Open Source Policy for Federal Agencies" released by the White House on March 10. The policy was open for comments through today. This is a major milestone for the OSEHRA community as well as the open source community as a whole. Currently the US Government spends nearly a hundred billion dollars a year on software purchased from the private sector or procured from government contractors. Most of this software acquisition ends up in failure. President Barack Obama has made it a priority to shift technology acquisition policies to solve this problem and restore technology innovation by embracing open source.
OSEHRA will be holding its annual Summit June 27 through June 29 in Bethesda, Maryland. Over the past several years the OSEHRA Summit has become the leading confernce for the VistA community as well as the Open HealthIT community. This year the conference will be expanding with a half-day focused on Open Health IT presentations. The 2016 OSEHRA Open Source Summit Program Committee invites abstract submissions for presentations, roundtables, and posters by March 8, 2016.
INASP has launched its Open Access Week Competition for 2015. The competition is open to representatives of institutions and organizations from INASP partner or network countries. Open Access Week, a global event now entering its seventh year, is an opportunity for the academic and research community to learn more about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in Open Access developments. For more information, see OpenAccessWeek.org.
We have been very busy lately and did not have time this year to write a recap of major events related to our news web site. Well, a bit late, we start here with a review of our traffic figures. Traffic to the website continues to grow and we are now approaching 20,000 unique visitors per month. As the table shows below, the total number of unique visitors since we launched the site nearly four years ago has surpassed 375,000 and the total number of Page Views has broken the 8 million mark.