OSEHRA 2012 Open Source Summit

Event Details
October 17, 2012 - 8:00am - October 18, 2012 - 6:00pm
Gaylord National Washington, DC
United States

The Open Source Electronic Health Records Agent (OSEHRA) will be hosting its First Annual Open Source EHR Summit & Workshop October 17 and 18, 2012, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. OSEHRA is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating an open source ecosystem around the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) world-class EHR, VistA. Since its creation a year ago by the VA, the organization has grown rapidly and now has more than 1,000 members. Members include a large number of private companies that are engaged in implementing VistA private sector hospitals and clinics, as well as in the large number of foreign countries that are adopting VistA. These solution providers are also developing a whole range of  enhancements to the VistA core. 

The Summit will feature more than 30 panelists and speakers, including government officials, health care leaders, clinical care providers and policymakers. The event will bring together the OSEHRA community for the first time and provide a venue for Open Source Health IT training and educational workshops. “The first OSEHRA Open Source EHR Summit will celebrate and share the work of the OSEHRA community and continue to chart a bold new course for the most innovative EHR platforms that will embody the passion and inventive power of open source developers, clinicians and policy makers,” said Seong Ki Mun, PhD, President and CEO of OSEHRA.

Conference topics will include:

  • Open source initiatives in Federal agencies; VA, DoD, HHS and others
  • Best practices in open source software development 
  • Lessons learned from related industries
  • Open source software development in health care
  • Trends in the open source software industry
  • New open source initiatives

Work to Date

Discussing OSEHRA's success in the past year, Dr. Mun states "The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has now fully adopted the open source approach to modernize its EHR system, VistA, and the OSEHRA certified 'Gold Version' of VistA, will soon be installed in VA medical centers nationwide." According to Dr. Mun, "OSEHRA’s code repository is being populated daily with innovative open source tools and modules. Additionally, organizations with commercial products based on VistA code are now working with federal agencies to converge various versions of the codes into a single codebase."

It is projected that the use of open source solutions in the healthcare system will grow exponentially. Among the many reasons for this exponential growh is that State agencies and private sector health care communities are facing increasingly unsustainable high costs of health IT caused by high-cost proprietary EHR solutions. These agencies are solving this problem by using alternate approaches to proprietary EHRs. The rapid growth of open health implementations and open source activities are creating a huge market opportunity for both private and public sectors.

Open Health News readers can find more details on the explosive growth of the VistA community and the VA's open source strategy in the following article.

The Summit is now accepting abstracts for presentations addressing technical, business and policy issues associated with open source software and EHRs. More details can be found here.

The Summit's program committee includes:

  • Fred Prior, PhD--OSEHRA - Chair.
  • Fabian Lopez--Project Manager at DSS, Inc., and webmaster of the VistA Extensions Hub.
  • Stanley M. Saiki, MD--Director: Pacific Telehealth and Technology Hui.
  • Shahid N. Shah--President & CEO at Netspective Communications LLC.
  • Peter Groen--Senior Editor, Open Health News.
  • Rick Marshall--CEO/ED at VISTA Expertise Network
  • Andrew Aitken--GM & SVP at Olliance Group and Chair of the Open Source Think Tank.
  • Mike Ackerman--National Library of Medicine.
  • Edmund Billings--Chief Medical Officer, Medsphere Systems Corporation.
  • Tim Cromwell--Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Myung Kim--Vice President, 3M Health Information Systems.
  • Steve Steffensen--CMIO, Advanced Information Technology Group (AITG) at TATRC
  • Gerry Higgins--Assure RX 


More information on the conference can be found here.