24th VistA Community Meeting

Event Details
January 13, 2012 - 8:00am - January 15, 2012 - 5:00pm
UC Davis, Sacramento Campus Sacramento, CA
United States

The VistA community will be gathering next week in Sacramento, CA for the 24th VistA Community Meeting (VCM). The meeting, January 13-15, will take place in the campus of the University of California Davis. This meeting is shaping up as one of the greatest VistA community meetings. It has a very impressive line up of speakers.

Leading the list is the US Department of Veterans Affairs's (VA) visionary CIO, Roger Baker who is leading the transformation of the VA's VistA development strategy to a collaborative, open source strategy. In addition several key people from the VA will also be addressing the meeting including Michael O'Neill, Senior Advisor to the VA's Innovation Initiative (VAi2) and Julie Harvey, Director of the VA's Office of Information Technology Product Development and Assessment.

Dr. Seung Ki Mun, the chairman of OSEHRA, the organization created by the VA to manage the VistA code development organization, will also be addressing the meeting. This will be a great opportunity for VistA community members to meet Dr. Mun. For the past decade Dr. Mun has played a major role in promoting the use of open source software and tools in radiology and imaging as well as for clinical trials.

There will be many presentations on VistA implementations in the United States and the rest of the world, including presentations on the implementation of VistA in Jordan and Iraq. Robert Wentz, CEO, Oroville Hospital will be giving a presentation on the VistA implementation at his regional hospital in Northern California. Wentz gave an extraordinary presentation on this deployment at the VISTAExpo 2011 conference last November in Redmond, WA. We wrote a detailed blog post on this presentation.

One of the extraordinary parts of Wentz' presentation, at VISTAExpo was his detailed analysis of the financial imperative to implement VistA. Implementing VistA in Oroville Hospital cost only a fraction of what it would have cost to implement a proprietary solution, and it has far more features than what other solutions had to offer. Wentz', however, went far beyond the Oroville Hospital case and presented a detailed financial analysis of the costs of implementing EHR's in general. This is an analysis that few hospitals in the United States have done. Based on long-term financial projections, Wentz fears that hundreds of hospitals in the U.S. are going to be driven out of business over the next decade as a result of the financial impact of supporting and maintaining proprietary EHRs. It's worth attending the VistA Community Meeting just to hear this presentation.

Marci Keiser, one of the key champions of the implementation of VistA in the State of North Carolina's mental health facilities, will be giving a series of presentations in a whole range of subjects. Khamis Sicsek, and Tamriq Hamkari will be giving presentations on the implementation of VistA in the nation of Jordan. This project, personally championed by Jordan's ruler, King Abdullah II, is well on its way to rolling out a national EHR across the entire country. This will include not only all the hospitals, but also all clinics and physician offices in Jordan.

As usual with VistA Community Meetings, there will be a large number of technical presentations. Just to mention a couple, Luis Ibañez, the Chief Scientific Officer of OSEHRA will discuss the software tools to be used for the VistA code repository as well as the architecture and software certification process. Matt King will be giving a presentation on the concept of VistA as the ultimate patient management console.

More details can  be found at the conference home page here.

Updated January 2, 2012.

Roger A. Maduro

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief.