Feature Articles

How VA Outsourcing Hurts Veterans

On Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, announced that he had reached a compromise with John McCain and other Senate Republicans on how to fix whatever it is that needs fixing at the VA...the bill also contains one provision that is a significant concession to Republican enemies of government. If enacted, it would lower the quality of health care received by veterans while setting back the movement for health care delivery system reform generally.

Read More »

A Case for Open Peer Review for Clinical Trials

A few weeks ago I played the part of an expert witness in the Medical Journalist Association’s mock trial, Trials on Trial. The charge was: “Is the current system of publishing clinical trials fit for purpose?” The jury’s verdict was a resounding ‘no’. You can read more about the event in Jane Feinmann’s write up on the BMJ Group Blogs.

Read More »

The ONC Reorganization

Many people have asked me to explain the recent reorganization at ONC, reducing 17 different offices to 10...Simply, the era of stimulus has ended and ONC no longer has the operating budget to do as many projects as fast as during the era of ARRA... Read More »

VA Care: Still The Best Care Anywhere?

...[A]s the author of the title Best Care Anywhere, Why VA Health Care would be Better for Everyone, it’s been dispiriting to have it confirmed by a preliminary inspector general’s report that some frontline VA employees in Phoenix and elsewhere have been gaming a key performance metric regarding wait times. But what’s really has me enervated is how the dominant media narrative of the VA “scandal” has become so essentially misleading and damaging to the cause of health care delivery system reform...

Read More »

Why Open Source Is the Future of Clinical Trials

Clinovo is a Clinical Research Organization (CRO) that partners with life science companies to streamline their clinical trials. Their CTO Marc Desgrousilliers is managing the development of ClinCapture, their open source Electronic Data Capture (EDC) system. In this interview, he tells us more about why healthcare needs open source and why it is the future of clinical trials... Read More »

How African Hospitals Can Be Helped Through Open Source ERP and EHR Software

The daily management and operation of a hospital requires enormous effort. These days, most hospitals utilize Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to centralize facility operations including inventory, budgets, invoicing, and employee management.Any hospital administrator will tell you that ERP software is essential to efficiently managing their hospital as the software lowers inventory costs and improves efficiencies and quality.

Read More »

Rethinking Open Source Collaboration

The open source world has been through a significant period of change in the last fifteen years. What started out as volunteers getting together to work on projects for fun has now turned into a billion-dollar industry. Although the spotlight is shone on open source more than ever before and the technology and tools have evolved, the core fundamentals of how we build open source software are still the same at their core – yet the rigor and quality expectations have changed. I think this is a great opportunity for our wider community as well as an organization.

Read More »

The Maker Movement Helps Transform Our Public Libraries

The small town of Bethlehem, New York purchased a 3D printer and started teaching classes at its public library recently—jumpstarting the community's knowledge of advanced manufacturing and building upon a new way of doing things in a world where physical bookstores are dissappearing. It's true. Public libraries are reinventing themselves. Today they are becoming less of a place that hosts physical books and more of a center where people collaborate, commune, and learn new things...

Read More »

Five Open Source Tools Libraries Need to Know About

There was a time when working in the library I found it very frustrating (as many librarians do) that there were so few options for software that actually did what I needed. In libraries we're so used to there being this vendor=software model. Where one vendor controls a product and while there might be other similar products, they too are controlled by a vendor. This is why libraries need to take a closer look at open source software. By removing the "owner" (aka the vendor) from the equation we get a lot more freedom to make software that does what we want, how we want, when we want. One of the hardest thing to teach libraries who are switching to an open source solution is that the power is now in their hands to direct the software...

3-D Printing Could Offer Savings On Replica Lab Kit

Working replicas of expensive scientific equipment could be made for a fraction of conventional cost using cheap 3-D printers, possibly saving developing world labs thousands of dollars each time, says a researcher whose book on the subject was published last year. This and similar advances mean the age of appropriate technology — affordable, sustainable solutions designed and built to meet local needs — may be here, argues Joshua Pearce, a materials science and engineering professor at Michigan Technological University, United States, in an article in Physics World magazine.

How Three College Students Built a Health Provider Search Site in Six Weeks - A Lesson for the Federal Government

In six weeks, a team of three college students with no industry experience and only academic software-specific knowledge, developed and designed a health care provider search system using only open source software. To tell you how they got there, let's start with a little history of open source software in the US federal government workspace... Read More »

Halamka Explains Background to athenahealth/BIDMC Collaboration

BIDMC and athenahealth announced a new and unique collaboration. The collaboration between the two organizations provides athenahealth the chance to take BIDMC’s experience to a much larger audience, hopefully making a difference to providers, patients, and payers across the country.   athenahealth will also accelerate its ability to develop expanded functionality more rapidly than doing it alone. Read More »

HIMSS14: OSEHRA Organizes Open Source EHR Panel at the HIMSS Conference

OSEHRA has been invited to organize an Open Source EHR session at the 2014 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Annual Conference and Exhibition on Sunday, February 23 in Orlando, Florida.  More than 37,000 healthcare IT professionals, clinicians, executives, and vendors from around the world are expected to participate in the HIMSS conference. We are enthusiastic about engaging this community, especially with our unique session focused on user-driven innovations, interagency collaboration, and future investments. Our session will feature success stories from VistA users including Lutheran Medical Center, the North Carolina Department of Health, Oroville Hospital, and the College of St. Scholastica...

Read More »

U.S.-U.K. Health IT Collaboration is Official!

OSEHRA...participated in early planning meetings for a bilateral agreement signed on January 23, 2014, by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and U.K. Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt.  Intended to strengthen the healthcare systems of both countries, the agreement calls for collaboration within health information technology, specifically the sharing of information, tools, and strategies. The agreement outlines specific focal areas: Sharing Quality Indicators, Liberating Data and Putting It to Work, Priming the Health IT Market, and most significantly for OSEHRA-- Adopting Digital Health Record Systems.

Read More »

Doctors Use Wikipedia to Collaborate in the Production of Quality Medical Information

Six years ago, Doctor James Heilman was working a night shift in the ER when he came across an error-ridden article on Wikipedia. Someone else might have used the article to dismiss the online encyclopedia, which was then less than half the size it is now. Instead, Heilman decided to improve the article. “I noticed an edit button and realized that I could fix it. Sort of got hooked from there. I’m still finding lots of articles that need a great deal of work before they reflect the best available medical evidence.”

Read More »