OSEHRA CEO Seong Mun on iEHR, future of open source

Tom Sullivan | Government Health IT | August 26, 2013

...Government Health IT Editor Tom Sullivan spoke with Seong K. Mun, CEO and president of Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent, otherwise known as OSEHRA, about the prospects for DoD actually picking VistA, his agency’s work on a standard code base that, in the long run, all the VA hospitals could adopt, and what to expect at this year’s conference, which runs from September 4-6, in Bethesda, Maryland.

Q: What will be the overarching theme at the upcoming OSEHRA Summit?

A: This is our second summit and this year our primary focus is to be the showcase for a lot of innovations that are taking place around open source and VistA. And unlike last year we are offering a one-day tutorial of open source and agile development. These are fairly new concepts to health IT so we’re going to orient our community on the ins and outs of open source...

Q: There was a lot of talk even before DoD changed its iEHR plans that it was not utilizing open source nearly as much it could or even should be and not playing much of a role in OSEHRA. Do you see that changing?

A: There’s a growing appreciation of open source there. I recall having a workshop when I was at Georgetown with friends at DoD — this was 7 or 8 years ago — and the position at that time was ‘open source? No way.’ So I think they’ve come a long way...

Q: So what else should I be asking about the upcoming OSEHRA summit?

A: The upcoming summit, well, the tutorials will be interesting. Then we have a number of different workgroups talking about specific technical issues that have to do with VistA modernization. The big news going into this year is that the U.K’s National Health Services announced they're going to do a VistA installation pilot project at three of their hospitals..Also, there is a lot of interest at the state level. For instance, New York state is now in the process of installing VistA in all their mental health facilities. The state of Tennessee is in the process of starting such a project and there are a couple other states very interested in VistA...