Indian Health Service of HHS Contributes Open Source Version of Electronic Health Record

Press Release | OSEHRA | June 6, 2014

The Indian Health Service (IHS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has contributed an open source version of its Resource and Patient Management System (RPMS) to the OSEHRA Technical Journal. This contribution will complement the current open source EHR capabilities of the VistA code base now hosted by OSEHRA. It is another step in enabling IHS and the global open source community to share the resources of OSEHRA in developing and extending the capabilities of RPMS.

“As a collaborating partner with OSEHRA, we are pleased to contribute RPMS to the open source community,” said Dr. Howard Hays, acting Chief Information Officer of the IHS.  “We hope it will encourage adoption in the broader community of the innovative work that IHS has done, and spark additional enhancements that can be used to improve care for all of the people we serve.”  IHS-developed software has often been offered as enhancements to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ VistA system. A recent example is work being done in the Immunization Workgroup at OSEHRA, which is striving to harmonize the data structures and other details between VistA and RPMS.

“The health IT team of IHS, under the leadership of Dr. Hays, has been an important contributing member of the OSEHRA community in making health IT more robust and secure. We look forward to continuing the tradition of best practices in open source that benefits patient care in and out of government,” remarked Dr. Seong K. Mun, President and CEO of OSEHRA.

The RPMS, based on the Veterans Affairs’ electronic health record VistA, is a decentralized integrated solution for management of both clinical and administrative information in IHS healthcare facilities. Flexible hardware configurations, over 80 software applications, and network communication components combine to create a comprehensive clinical, financial, and administrative solution that can stand alone or function in concert with other components as needed. Healthcare professionals in IHS, Tribal, and Urban Indian health care facilities, as well as some private sector locations, use RPMS to support high-quality care for their patients.

“This is an important event in enhancing open collaboration between the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the Indian Health Service in the open source community to make the family of VistA products the best IT solution for our patients,” observed Dr. Theresa A. Cullen, VA’s Director of Health Informatics.

For more information, review the IHS submission to the OSEHRA Technical Journal.