The Future Is Open

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Draw the Line - Time for the US to Embrace Open Source Emergency and Disaster Response

For nearly 20 years now the global open source community and applications have been a keystone to disaster relief efforts around the world. The enormous number of disaster relief applications and knowledge that has been developed through all these years, should, and needs to be leveraged in the current crisis. For that reason Open Health News is starting a series of articles to highlight some of the most important solutions. A substantial portion the open source applications for emergency and disaster response that exist are actually already in the news website in the form of articles and resource pages.

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Community Health Network in Houston Leverages Open Source Tech to Help Victims of Hurricane Harvey

Undaunted by the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, the Stephen F. Austin Community Health Network (SFA) responded to the crisis by leveraging open source technology to reach out to their patients and victims of the hurricane in areas of Texas that are virtually inaccessible. The Health Network, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) covering Brazoria County, is one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Harvey and currently recovering. Using an advanced cloud-based version of the OpenEMR software, the SFA Community Health Network has been able to treat patients in clinics physically unreachable by their medical providers.

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OpenMRS Community Announces Malawi will be the Host Country for OMRS17

OpenMRS Global Events Manager Christine Gichuki announced yesterday that Malawi has been chosen as the host country for the OpenMRS 2017 implemeters meeting (OMRS17). This is a major milestone for the OpenMRS project. OMRS17 was hosted by the government of Uganda last year. The conference was a major success as I decribed in a presentation at the recent OSEHRA 2017 meeting in Bethesda, Maryland. This will be the second OMRS meeting that is hosted the by a national goverment. The incredibly successful meeting in Uganda is described in this article.

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OSEHRA Update on VistA /eHMP Microsoft Azure Cloud Project

OSEHRA will be holding a webinar on Tuesday, May 16, to provide an update and discussion of the status of the development of a cloud-based version of VistA and eHMP running on Microsoft Azure. The project is sponsored by Microsoft and was announced two months ago in a statement by Don Hewitt, the Vice President of Business Operations of OSEHRA. Hewitt writes: One of our newest members, Microsoft Corporation, is sponsoring an open source project group to implement a proof of concept for VistA in the cloud...

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HHS IDEA Lab Hosting Innovation Day in DC on May 15

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is holding an Innovation Day on Monday, May 15th at the Hubert H. Humphrey Building in Washington, D.C. The day will feature presentations from teams across HHS who are using open source, collaborative, and entrepreneurial methods like design thinking and lean startup to improve how their office or agency delivers on the HHS mission. The day will also feature a panel on deploying creative thinking to improve work in government, and innovative speakers from government and the private sector.

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Open Source Guide to HIMSS17

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.

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Obama and Biden Blast EHR Vendors for Data Blocking

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.

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Andrew Slavitt and the Opportunity Offered by Open Medicaid IT

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.

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OSEHRA to Launch Workgroup to Develop Strategy for Open Health Community

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.

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OSEHRA to Hold Community Calls to Discuss VA Digital Health Platform [Updated]

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"