OSEHRA Calls for Comments to VA Open Source Policy

Roger A. MaduroJust got an email from Kris Prendergast, community organizer for the Open Source Electronic Health Record Alliance (OSEHRA) calling on the community to provide input to the open source strategy for the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA, which developed the VistA EHR, widely recognized as the world's best hospital-based EHR, is seeking comments to their next generation IT contract. They are specifically requesting comments and suggestions to their open source strategy. This strategy will be discussed in great detail at the OSEHRA conference next week (see this article).

OSEHRA is going one step further and have written a published their suggested open source strategy for the VA and is asking for comments and enhancements, as well as for the open source VistA developers to include this strategy as part of the responses to the RFI. Kris Prendergast's email with details below. It is really important for the Open Health community to work on this as the VA has been at the forefront of US government agencies working to develop collaborative open source strategies.

Note that the comments are due by August 28.

As you may know, the Department of Veterans Affairs has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for the next generation T4 contract (T4NG).  One of the line items in the RFI is a reference to the VA Open Source Policy, annotated “TBD.”  This policy will be critical to VA’s effective use of open source, and the OSEHRA membership has collaborated on a set of suggestions regarding that forthcoming policy. 

As with any RFI, the more potential acquisition participants comment, the stronger the case for incorporation of those comments into the procurement.  We are therefore providing the full text of the community-developed open source language in the hope that you will consider incorporating part or all of it into your RFI response.  This is an important opportunity to advocate for open source, and we hope you'll add your voice.

  • You may find the draft open source policy language here. (If you are not already registered, you'll need to create a free account on the OSEHRA website.)
  • We encourage you to incorporate the comments into your RFI submission.
  • ​We also encourage you to incorporate any additional views and perspectives on open source into your submission.

Please email me a copy of your submission, so we can track the instances of open source policy submissions and their content.
Thanks for your participation,

Kris Prendergast, CAE
Director, Community Management
900 N. Glebe Rd.
Arlington, VA  22203
Phone:  571-858-3205