VA seeks partners for open source electronic health records system

Bob Brewin | NextGov | April 1, 2011

The Veterans Affairs Department has released a draft request for proposals to develop the next generation of its next-generation electronic health record system based on open source software.

"As we work to ensure that we provide veterans with the best in health care, modernization of VistA is absolutely critical," VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said in a statement, referring to the Veterans Integrated System Technology Architecture, the agency's EHR system. "This move towards open source welcomes private sector partners to work with us to improve VistA, and is an important part of our strategy to ensure that VA clinicians have the best tools possible, and that veterans receive the best health care possible."

Roger Baker, VA chief information officer, said the department has spent the past year examining an open source approach to VistA modernization. "We are convinced that this is the best approach for VA, veterans and taxpayers," he said, adding that the open source approach will "ensure that vendors of proprietary products can easily and confidently integrate their products with VistA to make them available for VA to purchase and use in our facilities."