OSEHRA 2015: New Community-Based Product to Support Open Source EHR Solutions Announced

Press Release | OSEHRA | July 28, 2015

Arlington, VA – As it opens the 2015 OSEHRA Open Source Summit in Bethesda, Maryland, the Open Source Electronic Health Record Alliance, Inc. (OSEHRA) has announced the availability of a new, community-based open source product. 

Based upon the VistA Electronic Health Record developed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, OSEHRA VistA™ consists of OSEHRA VistA Core™ and OSEHRA Certified Vista Components™. Together, they lay the groundwork for vastly increased collaboration and open source code sharing among the many members of the open source electronic health record (EHR) community.  The core product will be a small set of common code that can be universally adopted by community members.  It will be complemented by an extensive set of EHR component programs that have met OSEHRA certification requirements, including compatibility with OSEHRA VistA Core.  Implementers will reap the benefits of a common open source baseline while adding their own value to produce production EHR solutions.

The new product set is the result of more than two years of community collaboration. "OSEHRA VistA is not intended as a complete EHR solution, but as a baseline of open source community code that will strengthen all VistA-based EHR implementations and accelerate community innovation,” said Mike Henderson, OSEHRA’s Director of Open Source Product Management.  “Until now, the open source VistA community has been unable to realize the full benefit of open source development.  While many vendors and healthcare providers have utilized VA code or derivative versions of VistA, prior to the initiation of this project, code sharing and collaborative development among the community members have been handicapped by the lack of a common baseline.  The emergence of OSEHRA VistA will allow all community members to share portions of their code."

Irv Lichtenwald, CEO of Medsphere Systems Corporation, has a unique perspective on the product since MSC’s Fileman package is the key part of the newly defined OSEHRA VistA Core.  “Medsphere takes great pride in the improvements we’ve made to Fileman, and we’re pleased to see it driving the new core product,” he said.  “We see the release of OSEHRA VistA as a step toward increased community collaboration.”

DSS, Inc. plans to incorporate the new core into its flagship product, vxVistA.  “We've provided virtually all of vxVistA to OSEHRA as open source code," said Robert Missroon, their CFO.  “We are already testing the same code as VA, and sharing our test results with them. We plan to incorporate OSEHRA VistA Core into vxVistA. In fact, we hope to be the first solution provider to label our product as ‘Powered by OSEHRA VistA Core.’  As Conference Sponsor of the 2015 Annual Summit, DSS is pleased to see the product launch on the agenda.”

The product set will also benefit from the input of heathcare providers who implement and maintain their own open source solutions, such as Oroville Hospital in Oroville, California.  According to Denise LeFevre, Oroville’s CIO, "Announcement and release of these collaborative tools is a monumental accomplishment for the Open Source Community!  This is a perfect example of how adoption of open source can provide opportunity for groups to work together in creating products that serve to improve patient care in the U.S. and around the world.  Oroville Hospital and Tenzing are proud to be a part of this effort."

According to Rami Adwan, CEO of Electronic Health Solutions (EHS) - Jordan, OSEHRA’s launch has global implications as well. "We are delighted to see the emergence of this baseline product, and we see great benefits for our national program.  EHS has been an active member of the open source community, and we are working to deploy VistA to around five hundred locations in the Kingdom under the Hakeem Program, a national Jordanian initiative launched under the patronage of his Majesty King Abdullah II to automate our public healthcare sector.”

The agenda of the 2015 Annual Summit will include several presentations on the new product, including discussions on product strategy, technical content, and open source governance.  For more information, visit www.osehra.org/osehra_vista.


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 2,400 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 U.S. 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 (http://www.medsphere.com/), 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.

DSS (http://www.dssinc.com/) develops and supplies integrated enhancements to the Veterans Affairs VistA system and specializes in healthcare IT solutions that improve quality and productivity. The organization also designs applications that are compatible with the Indian Health Services RPMS, the Department of Defense’s healthcare systems and vxVistA. To foster the adoption of open source in healthcare organizations, DSS is a founder and supporter of a community-driven, collaboration environment website, The VistA Extension Hub (www.ThevxHub.org) that acts as a forum for discussion and best practices among Open Source vxVistA and VistA users.

Oroville Hospital (http://www.orovillehospital.com/) is a community hospital dedicated to always providing the finest personalized healthcare to Oroville and the surrounding foothill and valley communities by offering a wide range of integrated services from prevention through treatment to wellness.

Electronic Health Solutions (EHS) (http://www.ehs.com.jo/en) is a non-profit, innovative, technology-driven company that provides automated solutions to enhance the quality and efficiency of public health care services offered in Jordan. The company was founded in early 2009. EHS will be implementing several projects that are expected to have quick and lasting impacts on the health sector. Over the incoming years, the company will concentrate its efforts on successfully implementing its flagship program, Hakeem.  Hakeem, launched in October 2009 under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein, uses the local broadband network infrastructure to enable physicians, pharmacists, medical technologists, and other clinicians to electronically access medical records of patients within participating health facilities in Jordan simply by entering the patient’s national number.

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