Taking license with open-source software

Joseph Conn | ModernHealthcare.com | September 1, 2011

For nearly a decade, the Veterans Affairs Department, developer of the publicly available VistA electronic health-record software, has kept at arm's length a growing community of outside, open-source VistA developers and users.

Recently, however, the VA embraced open source as a strategy for VistA enhancement. It hired the Informatics Applications Group, or Tiag for short, to create a not-for profit corporation, the Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent, to oversee the program.

The VA’s aim is to use open-source to accelerate improvements to VistA, ultimately for veterans’ benefit. Without doubt, though, the VA action will add legitimacy to those prior open-source VistA development efforts as well as attract new VistA developers to the community...