Oroville Hospital Contributes $150K to WorldVistA

In a dramatic special ceremony at the 24th VistA Community Meeting in Sacramento today, Oroville Hospital CEO, Robert Wentz, handed a $150,000 check to Nancy Anthracite, President and Chief Medical Officer of the non-profit WorldVistA organization. The contribution, according to Wentz, was a way for Oroville Hospital to thank the large number of VistA volunteers who helped the hospital with their VistA implementation. As Open Health News reported in this blog post, Oroville Hospital has successfully implemented VistA and is one of the first hospitals in the United States to fully quality for "meaningful use."

In an extraordinary departure from standard practice, Oroville Hospital decided to implement the open source, hospital-based EHR, on their own. When the project started, over two years ago, Oroville Hospital hired several small firms including the VistA Expertise Network and Amundson Associates to advise and help with the implementation and also to serve as a sort of brokers to bring in VistA experts as needed for specific tasks during the implementation. At the same that some consultants were paid to help for their efforts, a very large number of volunteers also helped in the project, according to Wentz.

Wentz told Open Health News that these volunteers made essential contributions to the project, and many worked on writing critical software enhancements to VistA that led to its meaningful use certification. The volunteer efforts saved Oroville Hospital a substantial amount of money. But Wentz said the monetary savings were really not the issue, these volunteers who helped with the project were top experts with very valuable skills that no amount of money can quantify. Wentz believes that Oroville Hospital would have never been able to have access to this knowledge or expertise had it not been for the desire of the volunteers to help with this open source project.

The $150,000 contribution to WorldVistA, according to Wentz, is a way for Oroville Hospital to thank all of these volunteers for their time and efforts. During the ceremony Wentz was accompanied by Oroville Hospital CIO Denise LeFevre, CMIO Dr. Narinder Singh, and in-house VistA developer Zach Gonzales.


Thank you

Thank you for the coverage of this event and your continued support of the open source community. Your story places a much deserved light on the tireless, selfless, talented world vista volunteers that helped our hospital and the patients that it serves. These people are heros whose efforts will save lives by improving safety and quality.