VistA: The Open Source EHR Hackable Platform

Dr Tony Shannon, in his presentations on NHS VistA, has often remarked that what is needed is an Open Source, hackable Electronic Healthcare Record (EHR) platform.  If such a platform became available, packaged in a such way that any interested Open Source developer (or, dare I say, hacker) could fire it up, dig into it and start developing new stuff on top of it, we’d have the basis of a really powerful Open Source EHR and a proper means of developing a vibrant and active development community.

I would suggest that as a result of the work of Christopher Edwards (KRM Associates and Certification Manager at OSEHRA), developing the OSEHRA Installer for VistA, which includes the suite of EWD.js products and a raft of demonstration applications, we now have exactly what Tony was suggesting: VistA, the Open Source EHR Hackable Platform.

If you’re a developer who is interested in becoming part of a community around this platform, I’ve written a 5-part series of articles that explain how to use Chris’s installer and how to make use of the Node.js / JavaScript based EWD.js development framework.

In a previous blog posting that I wrote some time ago, I said that Healthcare IT desperately needs the skills of the JavaScript/Node.js community.  We now have the platform on which those skills can be put to use.

Let the hacking begin!