Open Source Initiatives Rated Highly

Aliya Sternstein | nextgov | December 30, 2010

Accenture and ACT-IAC particularly praised the administration's support for open standards in building health IT software. For example, the Veterans Affairs Department is considering upgrading digital patient records with open source software -- programs that use nonproprietary coding -- that would let outside developers improve and modify the code. VA's current e-records system, Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), is based on a 1996 model for information exchange.

In August, the department issued a request for information on the concept of opening VistA coding to permit tweaks and enhancements, a step in line with guidance that IAC delivered to VA Chief Information Officer Roger Baker. "VA seriously considered industry's recommendations in developing a strategy for VistA," Allen said.