EHI CCIO: Take In A New VistA

Carl Reynolds | eHealth Insider | April 12, 2012

The aim of the EHI CCIO Campaign is helping to develop the next generation of clinical information leaders. To provide a junior doctor’s perspective, Carl Reynolds, a self-professed IT enthusiast, is writing a column for EHI on NHS IT. In his third column, he discusses VistA, and why he thinks it should be adopted in the NHS.

In my last column for eHealth Insider, I talked about my enthusiasm for open source software, and mentioned that the NHS VistA project looked very promising. So what is VistA?

Well, it is a comprehensive, evidence based, open source healthcare information system with several million users. It was developed by the Veterans’ Health Administration in the US, which provides health and social care to several million ex-service men and women and their families.

Development began in the late 1970s and continues to this day. The project has had, and continues to have, millions of person-hours and dollars of investment.