Open Health News

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AMA Call To Action On Health Records Should Tell Doctors To Heal Themselves

The American Medical Association (AMA) is one of the most powerful and well-known institutions in this country. Opposition from the AMA helped to bury hopes for universal healthcare back in the Harry Truman presidency, and now the AMA maintains a stranglehold on Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes and therefore on any innovation in reporting medical services. So when the AMA puts out a press release titled AMA Calls for Design Overhaul of Electronic Health Records to Improve Usability, describing the serious usability problems of EHRs, and announcing the release of their “solution” white paper titled Improving Care: Priorities to Improve Electronic Health Record Usability, headlines get made and policy-makers start to stir. Can a snap of the fingers by the AMA bring the EHR industry in line? Read More »

Burgess Bill Addresses Interoperability, the Leading Health IT Issue in the US

Health care reformers around the country should be jumping up to thank Representative Michael C. Burgess (R-Texas), an MD who is working with his staff to write a bill to promote Health IT interoperability. Readers of Open Health News probably know that interoperability--in simple terms, the ability of any authorized user to read a medical record from any source--has emerged as one of the two top burning issues of health IT, the other one being the lack of usability of proprietary/lock-in electronic health records (EHRs).

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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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CORAnet Solutions CEO to Address OSEHRA Open Source Summit on the Need for Personal Health Information Exchanges

Press Release | CORAnet | July 27, 2015

Cora Alisuag, the CEO of CORAnet Solutions, Inc. will speak on the importance of Mobile Personal Health Information Exchange (PHIE) technologies in providing patients and their caregivers with the critical information needed for their personal care and wellness during the 2015 OSEHRA Open Source Summit taking place in Bethesda, MD July 29 to 31st. Alisuag has been one of the key visionaries who proposed the idea of patients and their family members being able to obtain their personal health records. This concept was embraced by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) under the name of the Blue Button initiative.

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EHR Systems & Cost Transparency in the Healthcare Industry

Cost transparency is obviously a big issue in the healthcare industry. Whether it’s the amazing variation in costs hospitals charge patients for similar medical procedures, or the costs associated with acquiring and implementing an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system for a hospital - Why are all these costs often carefully hidden?  Is there something special about the healthcare industry that says – "Let's not talk about how much things really cost." Apparently, many industry leaders must feel that hospitals boards and patients have no need to know this information. Read More »

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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Is the Grace Hopper Open Source Day 2015 a Turning Point for Open Health and Humanitarian Open Source Projects?

One of the most significant efforts to help open health and humanitarian open source apps seen to date will be taking place tomorrow in Houston, Texas. The event is the Open Source Day 2015, part of the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) a conference designed to bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront. The full-day Code-A-Thon is focused on “coding for humanitarian causes in a dynamic, collaborative environment.” This day will give “women from around the world the chance to learn how to contribute to the open source community, regardless of their skill or experience level.”

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Luis Ibáñez to be Interviewed in vxJourney Program on Thursday

Luis Ibáñez, one of the best known advocates of open source solutions in healthcare will be interviewed Thursday, May 1, by Fabian Lopez in the popular vxJourney weekly webinar. Ibáñez a contributing author to Open Health News as well as other publications, in particular Opensource.com, will talk about the VistA course that he has been teaching at the State University of New York at Albany. Read More »

O'Reilly Report Explores Open Solutions to Health IT

Although many programmers and public interest advocates come to the concepts of free software, standards, open data, and transparent institutions out of idealism, modern businesses and governments are being driven to these same solutions out of the practical need to meet high expectations with diminishing resources. The ways in which the health care field has been incrementally adopting these paths are the subject of a new report, written by me and released by O'Reilly Media, called The Information Technology Fix for Health: Barriers and Pathways to the Use of Information Technology for Better Health Care. Read More »

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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Open Health News About to Cross the 225,000 Visitor Milestone

Open Health News has continued growing in leaps and bounds and we are close to crossing a major milestone, 225,000 unique visitors to the site since we launched a little over three years ago. Not bad considering that when we launched the site, we thought the maximum number of people interested in a web site providing news related to open health would top off at 30,000 max!

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Open Health News Continues To Grow-Visitors Cross the 375,000 Mark

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.

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Open Health Round-Up For 2014: Notable Articles, Reports, And Events

Even the hidebound field of health care can undergo a lot of change over the course of one year. Key health IT trends that I saw throughout 2014 are summarized in another article. Here I'll list some of the most notable articles and reports related to open source, standards, and transparency in health. Read More »

OSEHRA 2012 Summit A Great Success

The 1st Annual Open Source EHR Summit held this week at the Gaylord National Conference Center at National Harbor, just outside Washington D.C., was well attended by over 400 participants. The event was a huge success and many of the participants openly voiced the belief that this effect will be seen as the tipping point for open source in healthcare. It was "unbelievably cool" according to one of the participants, Todd Park, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the U.S. Government.

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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 »