Oroville Hospital

Oroville Hospital is a community hospital in Northern California dedicated to providing the finest personalized health care. It offers a medical home, with a wide range of integrated services from prevention through treatment to wellness. In order to provide the highest quality medical care to the community, Oroville Hospital chose to self-implement the open source VistA electronic health record (EHR) system. VistA is the world's leading hospital-based EHR and is consistently ranked the #1 EHR in terms of usability by physicians and nurses. Developed by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), VistA is used in more than 1,800 VA medical facilities around the world. In addition there are more than 1,500 medical facilies in the private sector and foreign countries using VistA.

Homepage: Oroville Hospital


Located a little over an hour north of Sacramento in Oroville California, Oroville Hospital is nestled in a beautiful community by Lake Oroville and the Feather River.  Founded in 1962, Oroville Hospital has grown from a modest community hospital supported by a small staff of dedicated doctors into a 153-bed acute care facility.  Oroville Hospital operates multiple outpatient clinics, has a full service regional laboratory, and is the only hospital north of Sacramento to Medford, Oregon to offer state-of-the-art robotic surgery using the da Vinci Si surgical robot.

Oroville HospitalImplementing VistA

Oroville Hospital was the first hospital in the United States to self-implement VistA.  In 2008 the IT staff downloaded and installed VistA and by 2009 they began to adapt it to fit the needs of the hospital.  This involved phenomenal effort, but resulted in Oroville Hospital having complete control over their EHR system and saved the hospital millions of dollars in implementation and customization costs.  A good part of the money spent in implementing VistA was invested in developing enhancements and add-ons to the open source EHR to make it work better in the hospital.

VistA Enhancements

Oroville Hospital’s VistA enhancements are focused on improving patient safety, patient satisfaction, and provider and staff satisfaction.  VistA enhancement development efforts include ePrescribe module, a real-time patient-dashboard application, pediatric growth chart application, flow sheet application, centralized bed control application and a new scheduling system.  CPOE-related development efforts include, ADT interface into VistA, Sunquest lab system interface, implement VistA imaging, adopted scheduling application developed by Indian Health Service, and custom configured pharmacy system.

Why Open Source Works

Oroville Hospital chose to implement an open source solution to take advantage of the inherent flexibility, have control of their EHR, and have the ability to customize it to fit its needs.  By downloading VistA, Oroville hospital’s implementation has been achieved for less than $13 million, less than a half of the average cost of implementing a proprietary EHR in similar regional hospitals.  Another advantage was Oroville Hospital was able to carry out implementation without any decrease in patient volume and no disruption in cash flow, unlike the implementation of other proprietary software.