The Veterans Health Administration hospitals were among the first in the United States to embrace IT-assisted health care in a major way. So it was a much anticipated moment when last week the OpenVista system, a private adaptation of the VA's system, was released as open source code on the SourceForge site. Its commercial backer, Medsphere, made the move after revising the code to run on Linux and adding features a commercial hospital needs, such as providing cost-of-care information to insurers.
|Road To An Open Source Application|
|2002 Medsphere founded to commercialize VA Vista apps|
|2004 First use of VA apps outside government|
|2006 First commercial customer of OpenVista, the adapted version of VA applications|
|2007 OpenVista code is made open source|
Cost was a big factor. McKesson and Deloitte Touche estimated a full electronic medical record system would cost $18 million to $20 million. "Our entire OpenVista project is $7.1 million," he says, with most of that for OpenVista installation and support from Medsphere. "If we had to spend $20 million to upgrade our systems, we wouldn't be able to do it."
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