VA, DoD take next step to open source EHR

Mary Mosquera | Healthcare IT News | August 29, 2011

ARLINGTON, VA – The Department of Veterans Affairs is set to make its open source agent operational Tuesday and make available the software code of various applications in the electronic health records of VA and the Defense Department...The operational Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent (OSEHRA) is the next step in the two departments moving toward an open, modular architecture that uses non-proprietary standard open interfaces, according to Peter Levin, VA chief technology officer.

VA is developing an open source track to modernize its VistA electronic health record and will incorporate the approach with DOD in the joint system. While VA already makes its codebase available, the feedback loop is new. “You can take that codebase from us, make changes and we now have a mechanism where they can give it back to us,” he said.

“The big idea is to make it easy, transparent and accessible for anybody whether it’s a large defense contractor or a kid in a garage in Nebraska. We want everyone pulling down code and looking at it, and being able to say, I know a fix, I have an improvement, I found a bug, I can extend the capabilities,” Levin said...