Last summer, the US Department of Veterans Affairs launched OSEHRA, the central governing body of a new open source software community focused on electronic health records. The community is growing rapidly, with more than 750 members from industry, government, and academia so far. VA has contributed its VistA EHR software, and many community members are engaged in everything from refactoring VistA code to working out the architecture of future EHRs.
The care and feeding of OSEHRA’s new open source community will be the subject of a case study at the upcoming Open Source Think Tank.
But why would a government agency start down this untrodden path to begin with?
VistA, is central to the quality of care that VA delivers to Veterans at 152 hospitals and more than 900 outpatient clinics. It was designed by clinicians for clinicians and embodies the patient-centric clinical workflow that supports VA’s models of care.