Feature Articles

Roberts-Hoffman Neuron EHR Achieves ONC Certification

Roberts-Hoffman Software EHR has achieved 2011/2012 COMPLETE Inpatient  EHR ONC-ATCB Certification, which designates that the software is capable of supporting providers with Stage 1 meaningful use measures required to qualify for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Neuron Electronic Health Record was certified on May 3, 2012 under ICSA Labs’ ONC-ATCB Electronic Health Record program and is compliant in accordance with the criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Read More »

Top 5 Misconceptions About Open Source In Government Programs

On March 15, 2013, ComputerWeekly.com, the “leading provider of news, analysis, opinion, information and services for the UK IT community” published an article by Bryan Glick entitled: Government mandates 'preference' for open source. The article focuses on the release of the UK’s new Government Service Design Manual, which, from April 2013, will provide governing standards for the online services developed by the UK’s government for public consumption... Read More »

Open Chemistry Project Upholds Mission of Unorganization, The Blue Obelisk

Chemistry is not the most open field of scientific endeavor; in fact, as I began working more in the area (coming from a background in physics), I was surprised with the norms in the field. As a PhD student way back in 2003, I simply wanted to draw a 3D molecular structure on my operating system of choice (Linux), and be able to save an image for a paper/poster discussing my research. This proved to be nearly impossible, and in 2005 a group of like-minded researchers got together at a meeting of the American Chemical Society and formed an unorganization: The Blue Obelisk (named after their meeting place in San Diego)...

CPOE: Meaningful Use’s Primary Obstacle Is VistA’s Greatest Strength

 

A study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA) identifies the implementation and adoption of Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) functionality as the number one barrier for hospitals working toward Meaningful Use Stage 1. Entitled “Overcoming challenges to achieving meaningful use: Insights from hospitals that successfully received Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services payments in 2011,” the study findings are significant because the say a great deal about the way different health IT platforms have been developed.

The Anvil Podcast: OpenMRS

Several weeks ago I went to the O’Reilly Open Source Convention in Portland, Oregon. The OpenMRS project was represented there by a number of the team members, and I was able to have a few informal conversations with them. After I got back home, I conducted an interview with Ben Wolfe, who actually wasn’t at the conference, but he talked to me about what the OpenMRS project does, and who is using it in the world, and where it’s going in the future. We also talked a little bit about their Google Summer of Code students. Here’s my conversation with Ben.

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OSEHRA Is On the Move

OSEHRA is on the Move. As we clear the hurdles of establishing Governance structure, clarifying Vision, implementing work Processes, and employing our IT Infrastructure and Development Tools, we simultaneously are preparing ourselves for the long run with the Open Source community. April 2012 was a busy month. We began the month by convening our first meeting of the OSEHRA Board of Directors; General (Retired) James Peake, Mr. Michael O’Neill and Dr. John Halamka. This inaugural Board meeting marks our official emergence as an independent organization with its own governing board. We will publish the meeting minutes on our web-site.

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VA Begins Implementation of Open Source EHR

VA recently announced that we’ve taken a big step in the implementation of the open source software model for VistA: the selection of The Informatics Application Group (tiag), an innovative technology services company, to design and launch the Custodial Agent. Over the next several months, we will be working closely with tiag and their partners to create a Custodial Agent to provide structure for the community. One of the primary functions of the CA is to take care of the EHR: to make sure that it is freely available (like it is today), that new components are compatible with the existing software, and that the open source software licenses promote innovation and access. To accomplish this, the CA will maintain a code repository that contains all of the software–the code VA uses as well as new components we may consider–and, importantly, is universally accessible.
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Value Measurement and Return on Investment for EHRs

Health care provider institutions today are faced with many new challenges, including the need to implement Health Information Technology (HIT) solutions, especially Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems. However, these institutions are also faced with a demand for capital investments outpacing their available funds. This means HIT or EHR projects must compete against other capital investment requests for scarce funds. Senior management teams will need to see the business and quality case that justify the return on investment (ROI) and return on quality (ROQ) before significant financial commitments for health information technology are made.

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How to Care for the Community Over the Code

At All Things Open 2016, Joe Brockmeier answers the question: How can companies can work effectively with open source communities? In his talk, Joe reminded us of the #1 open source myth: Open source is comprised of mostly volunteers. The truth is, these days, pretty much any major open source project has people who are paid to work on it. There are always people who do it because they love it, but these days most of us are paid (and still love it). Over the years we have learned that if you want patches in a timely manner, you need people who are paid to do it...

Radiology Initiatives Illustrate Uses for Open Data and Open AI research

Fans of data in health care often speculate about what clinicians and researchers could achieve by reducing friction in data sharing. What if we had easy access to group repositories, expert annotations and labels, robust and consistent metadata, and standards without inconsistencies? Since 2017, the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) has been displaying a model for such data sharing. That year marked RSNA's first AI challenge. RSNA has worked since then to make the AI challenge an increasingly international collaboration. Organizers of each challenge curate and annotate medical imaging studies and ask the research community to come up with models to answer important questions.

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The Appeal of Graph Databases for Health Care

A lot of valuable data can be represented as graphs. Genealogical charts are a familiar example: they represent people as boxes, connected by lines that represent parent/child or marriage relationships. In mathematics and computer science, graphs have become a discipline all their own. Now their value for health care is emerging. Graph computing made a significant advance this past February in the form of a Graph Data Science (GDS) library for the free and open source Neo4j graph database. Graph databases are proving their value in clinical research and public health; I wonder whether they can also boost analytics for providers. This article explains what's special about graph databases, and some applications in health care highlighted by recent webinars offered by the Neo4j company.

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Affordable COVID-19 Diagnoses for Hospitals: How Open Source Software Helps

The most common COVID-19 symptoms—such as coughing, fever, and shortness of breath—are shared with many other diseases. Diagnosing a patient accurately is therefore a challenge. Although a diagnosis of COVID-19 might not affect treatment, it would help a hospital predict a patient's trajectory and anticipate the need for urgent intervention. But current tests, relying on blood or mucus samples, are not particularly accurate. In this article, we'll see how open source software can help hospitals make better diagnoses. I'll concentrate on one specific role, and on the ways open source facilitates finding a solution and keeping it affordable. Many aspects of the problem feed into the solution discussed here. The article is based on work by researcher Trevor Grant.

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Artificial intelligence in medicine: Is the genie out of the bottle?

It is probably a given that artificial intelligence (AI) will become an integral part of healthcare delivery and of our public health infrastructure. What is not a given is that we will easily reach that point, and maintain progress in a way that maximizes its effectiveness in achieving the goals we have come to expect of it – efficient and improved healthcare and public health systems. In other words, making the health of people better in a cost-effective way. Responsible commentators have already begun to question the value of AI in medicine.

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Using Digital Ledger Technology To Put Physicians Back In Control

Our healthcare system is failing. It costs more and has overall worse outcomes than any other industrialized nation. It is failing because those on the front lines of healthcare - the physicians and patients- have no say in how the system is run. Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) - otherwise known as blockchain - has the ability to change that. DLT allows for secure direct peer to peer (In healthcare this means patient to doctor and doctor to doctor) communication and data transfer. No more storage of private information and transactions on centralized data capturing systems like electronic health records platforms.

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How Laboratories and their Systems can Weather Natural Disasters and Pandemics

We are currently experiencing a global pandemic - which, while perhaps included in disaster preparedness Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) by many labs as a possible disaster, still has caught most the infrastructure and health systems of most nations largely unprepared, and is causing major disruption because it was arguably not seen as one of the most likely events. Disaster preparedness has typically tended to focus on IT and data management risks and/or natural disasters. SOPs center around standard, daily lab safety. The truth is that whatever the odds of a particular disaster, they become 100% once they happen. It's important to have sufficient risk-reduction SOPs in play, and a good Continuity Of Operations Plan (COOP) for each potential scenario to ensure the best chance of coping during the event and recovering afterwards.

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