Edmund Billings

See the following -

Open Source EHRs: Will They Support Clinical Data Needs of the Future? (Part 2 of 2)

Andy Oram | EMR & EHR | November 18, 2014

The first part of this article provided a view of the current data needs in health care and asked whether open source electronic health records could solve those needs. I’ll pick up here with a look at how some open source products deal with the two main requirements I identified: interoperability and analytics. Interoperability, in health care as in other areas of software, is supported better by open source products than by proprietary ones. Read More »

OSEHRA 2012: Major VistA Code Contributions Announced During Summit

The open source VistA community took a giant leap in collaboration during the recently concluded 1st Annual OSEHRA Summit and Workshop, as several of the major players announced they were contributing key enhancements to the open source community. The day before the conference, leading VistA solution providers, Medsphere and DSS announced they were contributing major VistA modules to Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent (OSEHRA). Then, during conference presentations, AEGIS announced they were releasing a major integration and testing toolset.  And just previous to the conference, KRM Associates contributed their open source personal health record (PHR), HealtheMe, to OSEHRA.

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OSEHRA 2014 Summit Shows the Future for Open Source EHR's— US Government IT Procurement

The recent 2014 OSEHRA Open Source Summit: Global Collaboration in Healthcare IT, held September 3-5 in Bethesda, MD, was a huge success and clearly marks a watershed moment for open source health information technology (HIT), as well as a transformation in the way that US government agencies procure technology. The Summit featured more than 120 speakers addressing 90 separate sessions over three days. According to Seong K. Mun, President and CEO of OSEHRA, “this Summit demonstrated solid growth in both the depth and breadth of the OSEHRA Community.” Read More »

OSEHRA 2014 Summit to Rock EHR World

The world of electronic health records (EHRs) is going to be rocked next month as the Open Source Electronic Health Record Alliance (OSEHRA) holds its third annual summit in Bethesda, Maryland. After four years of quietly building a organization to promote VistA and open source in healthcare, as well as a central host for the core VistA code, OSEHRA is now emerging as a major force in the world of EHRs. The conference has become a gathering place for not just the VistA community but for major health IT players in the federal government, including the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and Indian Health Service (IHS), and major forces in the open health field. The three-day conference will feature more than 120 speakers addressing 90 separate sessions. Read More »

Survey Says Physicians Prefer 'Open' VistA Enterprise EHR over Epic Systems

Edmund Billings | HIT Consultant | November 19, 2012

2012 Medscape survey says physicians prefer VistA Enterprise EHR Over Epic Systems based on 21,000 physicians in 25 specialties evaluating enterprise EHRs Read More »

The 1.5+ Trillion Dollar HITECH Act

Hopefully, the public statements made by President Obama and Vice President Biden will lead to a public debate over the monumental problems that the HITECH Act and proprietary EHR vendors have caused the American people. While the press continues to report the figure of $35 billion as the cost of implementing EHRs, that figure does not tell the entire story. Perhaps the next step is to provide accountability and transparency. That would start with firm numbers regarding the real costs of EHR implementations forced on an unprepared healthcare system by the HITECH Act.

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The Patient Is Mentally Ill. Why Are We Only Treating His Broken Hand?

Nationwide, the patchwork nature of mental health care—most mental health hospitals lack electronic health records (EHRs)—drives up overall health care costs primarily through expensive emergency department (ED) visits by people who present with apparent mental health challenges. Of course, the disparity between mental and acute health care in the United States is caused by far more than a lack of EHRs in behavioral health settings. But more information enables better care and helps control costs, making it a necessary component in reforming the health care system.

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The RAND Report: Are healthcare and health IT in a dysfunctional relationship?

Edmund Billings | Medsphere Blog | January 22, 2013

What’s that? You don’t feel like the recent RAND report, which basically says that a 2005 RAND study financed by GE and Cerner was wildly optimistic in predicting about $81 billion in potential health care cost savings through widespread adoption of electronic health records, qualifies as a genuine hoax, controversy, scandal? Me neither.

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The VA Waitlist Fiasco: VistA Should Not be Thrown Out With the Bathwater

Without a doubt, the death of American veterans as a result of the VA waitlist debacle is tragic and unacceptable. The Obama administration must move quickly and deliberately to fix the underlying problems and restore faith in the agency. If these issues were common throughout the VA network of hospitals and clinics, it might make sense to consider dramatic, earth-shaking alternatives like moving veterans to private providers and shuttering the VA. But they are not common. Indeed, as Washington Monthly reporter Phillip Longman has documented, the VA’s challenges are regional, not pervasive. Read More »

True Interoperability: Public API’s Provide the Open Platform Health IT Requires

Do we finally have the spark? Interoperability is the current health IT buzzword because it’s the essential ingredient in creating a system that benefits patients, doctors and hospitals. Almost everyone in healthcare is pressing for it and is frustrated, though probably not surprised, that Meaningful Use did not get us there. Read More »

US Hospitals Facing Financial Squeeze-Mass Closures

In the last year, the profitability of U.S. hospitals eroded for the first time since the Great Recession, pushing some closer to and others over the solvency precipice. Revenues are down and costs are up.  And these issues appear systemic and entrenched, giving rise to a series of important and relevant questions: How can hospitals adapt?  If they do, will they still survive? And, do we as a nation think it’s important to make hospitals accessible, even if they lose money? Read More »

VistA and Epic: A Tale of Two Systems

Over the last few weeks, access to VA health care for veterans has been all over the news.  At the same time, the DoD is moving to procure a replacement EHR system.  So it seems there is no time like the present to review a recent RAND case studies report entitled “Redirecting Innovation in U.S. Health Care: Options to Decrease Spending and Increase Value.” The case studies include a chapter comparing America’s two most broadly deployed EHRs: The VA’s VistA and Epic.

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VistA Is A Rival to Epic and Cerner in Major Deployments of EHR Systems

According to a recent article in Healthcare IT News, Intermountain Healthcare has just signed a multi-year contract to deploy Cerner electronic health record (EHR) systems. The article claims that "only two companies – Epic and Cerner – seem to be in competition for the large and complex deployments."  However, there is a third option that constantly goes unrecognized - the widespread deployment and use of the world reknowned 'open source' VistA system by large scale healthcare provider organizations in the U.S. and overseas. Read More »

OSEHRA 2012 Open Source Summit

Event Details
Type: 
Conference
Date: 
October 17, 2012 - 8:00am - October 18, 2012 - 6:00pm
Location: 
Gaylord National Washington, DC
United States

The Open Source Electronic Health Records Agent (OSEHRA) will be hosting its First Annual Open Source EHR Summit & Workshop October 17 and 18, 2012, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. OSEHRA is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating an open source ecosystem around the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) world-class EHR, VistA. Since its creation a year ago by the VA, the organization has grown rapidly and now has more than 1,000 members. Members include a large number of private companies that are engaged in implementing VistA private sector hospitals and clinics, as well as in the large number of foreign countries that are adopting VistA. These solution providers are also developing a whole range of  enhancements to the VistA core.

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OSEHRA 2013 Open Source Summit

Event Details
Type: 
Conference
Date: 
September 4, 2013 (All day) - September 6, 2013 (All day)
Location: 
Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center Bethesda, MD
United States

The 2nd Annual OSEHRA Summit & Workshop will be held September 4-6, 2013, in N. Bethesda, Maryland. OSEHRA Summit 2013 will include pre-conference tutorials on Open Source Software and Agile Software development concepts, technology and certification practices, followed by two days of  Plenary Sessions and Educational Workshops keynoted by industry, academic and governmental leaders. The Summit is not just for the open source VistA community, but to everyone interested in learning more about Open Source and Agile Software development and furthering the convergence of emerging business models, Health Informatics, DoD/VA integrated Electronic Health Records (iEHR), public-private health information exchange, and more.

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