VistA System Implementations Continue Across India

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi is the premier and largest of the public funded hospital in India with a capacity of over 2000 inpatient beds. After burning its fingers with expensive proprietary electronic medical record (EMR) software in 1980’s, in 2009 the Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre (JPNATC) within AIIMS decided to take a baby step towards computerization using 'open source' solutions.

After exhaustively reviewing all options (e.g. OpenEMR, OpenMRS, OSCAR, RPMS, VistA), it was decided to adopt and move forward with the award winning VistA system. One of the main considerations for choosing VistA was its ability to be seamlessly implemented across the nation in incremental stages at minimal cost.

However, the journey has not been easy. Local expertise in implementing complex health IT software systems such as Vista was lacking and contracting with external companies based in the U.S. was very expensive. Thus, AIIMS made a strategic decision to try and use local information technology (IT) vendors in India without any track record of EMR implementations.

Almost five years down the road, the decision seems to have paid off.  AIIMS has possibly the world’s most cost-effective implementation of VistA today with a total implementation costs less than US$200,000  to date over the past 5 years. AIIMS has also managed to have one of the most advanced enterprise web development (EWD) implementations of VistA anywhere in the world.

Seeing the success of AIIMS several private hospitals have also implemented VistA in India, i.e. Max Super Specialty Hospitals. As reported in Business Wire India and Open Health News (OHN) last year, Max Healthcare had the first hospital in India to achieve 'Stage 6' according to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) EMR adoption model.

Dr. Deepak Agrwal, head of the JPNA Trauma Centre (JPNATC), strongly believes that "VistA is the answer to India’s healthcare requirements. The vision is clear - to attempt to have VistA implemented in all public funded hospitals in India." This will truly be a major initiative that will make the world sit up and take note.

See Map of VistA Installations by healthcare facilities in India, Asia, and the Pacific Rim.