Shahid Shah Predicts CMS Value-Based Payments Will Drive Adoption of Open Source in Health IT

Shahid Shah, the CEO of Netspective, is one of the most knowledgeable healthIT voices in the world, and he's also is optimist when it comes to open source in health care. Leonard Kish of HealthIT TV talked with Shahid about open source in health care and where it's headed in the hallways at HIMSS16.

Shahid believes open source is just picking up steam because open source is about building connections and driving middleware. That's just the place that healthcare is at at the moment. A major transition is taking place, according to Shahid. He points that CMS has made a major policy shift, announcing that they want payments tied to outcomes. That means that means analytical tools, middleware, and integration are becoming a requirement. We're already seeing it in the big data space with Hadoop, and it's starting to come to the forefront.

Shahid believes industry-specific tools are not sustainable long-term because they aren't growing the developer community that will be needed long-term for value-based care.  Open source will allow more integration to fulfill the business decisions for value-based care, and we need a developer-centric community.

Shahid said that the open source software that can be embraced by the healhcare industry is already capable and mature. In fact, he points out, it is 90% of the way there. What is missing is a deeper understanding of how medicine works. Thus education is a big part of moving into healthcare for developers, as new entrants often don't understand why things are they way they are and the deep workflows in medicine. According to Shahid, as we move toward more consumer-centric payment models, we'll also need more consumer-centric workflows that have worked outside of healthcare as well, and we'll need to merge those two. 

The short version: competition based on quality and metrics will set open source free in health care out of the need for better integration, better data.

What's needed: current players sharing more of their code going forward!