Malek: Health information technology is a tower of Babel, by intent

But the Institute of Medicine — as well as subsequent federal policy — did not specifically recommend the VA system’s route toward computerization: To use a single, popular software language to connect every hospital and doctor’s office. Instead, under Bush era policy — which has been continued through the Obama years, new agencies and programs were created to promote wider electronic health records adoption....Unsurprisingly, given the rush to quickly gain market share, these software products have been a huge disappointment to providers: They are falling far short of their potential to improve quality of care, and it will require years of use — and substantial upgrades of the software — to even think about the possibility that electronic health records adoption will ever actually reduce health care costs. If the late Steve Jobs were forced to use any of these products, he would be appalled at the primitive functionality doctors and nurses are contending with...

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Grid Engine Continues to Thrive As Open Source and Commercial Software

More than a year ago, Oracle made a decision that while not unexpected within the HPC community was nonetheless met with no small measure of concern. In December 2010, Oracle announced that Grid Engine (a very popular life science cluster scheduler and distributed resource manager that Oracle inherited via its purchase of Sun Microsystems) would no longer be freely available as an open-source product. Oracle's decision to make Grid Engine available only to commercially licensed customers left a large community of scientific and high performance computing users questioning the viability of their long term technical planning and HPC roadmaps.

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CTO Todd Park Continues to Champion 'Open Data' & Innovation

Todd Park, CTO for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), spoke at the recent South by SouthWest (SXSW) Interactive 2012 conference held in Austin, Texas. His presentation focused on innovation, startups, and examples of key HHS projects he has championed, e.g. the Healthcare.Gov web site and the Community 'Open' Health Data Initiative. Read More »

'Open Access' Movement Wins Another Battle

Shortly after publishing giant Elsevier withdrew its support of the Research Works Act (RWA), its Congressional sponsors pronounced the bill dead. The proposed legislation would have done away with federal policies, like the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) public access policy, that requires recipient's of federal research grants to post their peer-reviewed findings online in open access forums. Read More »

NexJ Wins CRM Watchlist 2012 Award

NexJ, one of the founding members of Open Health Tools (OHT) and an active proponent of open collaboration in the healthcare industry, has just received the prestigious CRM Watchlist 2012 Award. The award is given to CRM companies that have "Awesome possibilities." Paul Greenberg, widely recognized as one of the world's leading experts in CRM, wrote a detailed article in ZDNet describing the reasons behind the nomination. He has kindly given Open Health News permission to reprint the article in its entirety (see below).

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HIMSS12: eCollaboration Forum Takes Center Stage

Collaboration and open source solutions are taking center stage at this year's HIMSS conference in Las Vegas. An all-day eCollaboration Forum that will take place on Thursday, February 23, has captured the attention of the attendees and promises to be one of the best-attended events of the conference. The Forum will explore the creation of collaborative platforms as the foundation for a change from the current fragmented healthcare system to one based on Accountable Care Organizations (ACO's). This is a very successful concept borrowed from open source where communities work around an open source platform.

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VistA Community Makes Major Strides Towards Code Unification

The VistA community took major steps towards a unified VistA core during the 24th VistA Community Meeting in Sacramento, California this past weekend. The first speaker at the conference, Dr. Seong Ki Mun made a call for the VistA community to unify around one core version of VistA. The leading commercial VistA solution providers, Medsphere and DSS, Inc., quickly stepped up to the plate supporting the idea. The Indian Health Service (IHS) also supported this core version of VistA and announced that they were negotiating an agreement with OSEHRA so that IHS can participate as a full member of the community. 

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Oroville Hospital Contributes $150K to WorldVistA

In a dramatic special ceremony at the 24th VistA Community Meeting in Sacramento today, Oroville Hospital CEO, Robert Wentz, handed a $150,000 check to Nancy Anthracite, President and Chief Medical Officer of the non-profit WorldVistA organization. The contribution, according to Wentz, was a way for Oroville Hospital to thank the large number of VistA volunteers who helped the hospital with their VistA implementation.

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HRSA Health IT Videos & Webinars

HRSA Health IT Videos & Webinars are now online. The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) within the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has established a channel on YouTube where you can view a collection of free online videos and webinars about a range of health IT topics, tools, and issues. Check them out and also remember to visit the HRSA Health IT Toolbox web site.

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Schroeder On Open Source Funding Streams

During the holiday season it's natural to consider giving back and reflecting on what we've accomplished. According to the open source community has done an amazing job on both counts. For example, a partial tabulation of some open source projects related to medical image analysis yields a total of over $350 million and over 12 million lines of code, the result of years of hard work. WOW!

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