Medsphere Makes Key Code Contribution to OSEHRA VistA EHR Core

Press Release | OSEHRA, Medsphere Systems Corporation, VistA Expertise Network | November 21, 2014

Medsphere Systems Corporation (MSC) has contributed its latest version of FILEMAN to the Open Source Electronic Health Record Alliance (OSEHRA) code repository.  FILEMAN 22.2 is arguably the single most important component of the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), and is one of the largest open source contributions to date.  Version 22.2 represents over a decade of effort and extensive investment by MSC, incorporating more than a thousand improvements over the original version obtained from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). 

Edmund Billings, MDDr. Edmund Billings, MSC’s Chief Medical Officer, commented, “this code not only improves VistA’s technical infrastructure, but also provides direct benefit to clinicians.”

The contribution of MSC FILEMAN includes an important change of open source licensing, making it available under the Apache License, Version 2.0, and thus compatible with other code in the OSEHRA repository.  “The timing is perfect,” said Mike Henderson, OSEHRA’s Director of Open Source Product Management.  “Not only does this code contribution provide the foundation for our community version of VistA (OSEHRA VistA), but it also clears the way for VA to adopt this massive upgrade to its own system.”

Mike HendersonThe VISTA Expertise Network (VEN) made additional improvements to FILEMAN under a VA Innovations contract in 2013.   “The MSC code fixed an incredible number of bugs and gave us a remarkable baseline,” said Rick Marshall, the Network’s Executive Director.  “We have agreed to refer to our combined efforts as MSC FILEMAN in recognition of MSC’s efforts, and there are already plans in place for multiple future upgrades.” 

“This is what open source is all about,” said Billings.  “We are participating in OSEHRA’s Code Alignment Workshop in Oakland this week, where the open source EHR community is beginning to designate a set of core components for widespread adoption.  The community will benefit from our investment, and we will benefit from the community’s future development. All of us look forward to VA integrating MSC FILEMAN code and using our investment to provide improved service to Veterans everywhere.  Medsphere is proud to have taken the first step.”


OSEHRA ( is a nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating innovation in electronic health record software and related technology. Founded in 2011, OSEHRA is a rapidly growing open source community with over 2,600 registered members representing 160+ industry, academic, and government organizations. OSEHRA supports an open, collaborative community of users, developers, and researchers engaged in advancing electronic health record software and related health information technology. OSEHRA hosts software repositories for applications such as the Department of Veterans Affairs’ VistA electronic health record.  OSEHRA is a member of global industry associations including the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), Health Level 7 (HL7), and Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE).        

Medsphere Systems Corporation (, founded in 2002, helps healthcare providers achieve clinical and financial transformation by effectively deploying OpenVista®, its open-source version of the world's most proven electronic health record system, the VistA EHR developed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs over the course of two decades.  Medsphere’s Government Services Division (GSD) specializes in healthcare IT and open-platform technology solutions that best serve the requirements of our federal clients. Medsphere GSD has extensive expertise in legacy VistA and Vista-derived systems, including the Indian Health Service's Resource and Patient Management System (RPMS). Also well versed in the technologies used to realize VistA-derived system modernization, Medsphere GSD offers superior integration of open-platform and commercial software with VistA, RPMS and OpenVista.

VISTA Expertise Network ( is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to promoting the adoption and improvement of the open source VistA and RPMS EHR software developed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Indian Health Service. Founded in 2006, the Network provides consulting, training, and programming services on a project basis, bringing together experienced VISTA professionals.