Seeking EHR Construction, Not Deconstruction

Joseph Conn | Modern Healthcare | October 31, 2011

Health information technology pioneer Tom Munnecke has been thinking a lot these days about a plan by the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department to update the department's VistA electronic health-record system.

Munnecke would like to avoid replicating the multibillion-dollar problems that have befallen the Military Health System in first modifying the VA's health IT system—killing off its core interoperability functions in the process—and then degrading even further that result by squandering a bunch more money creating a wobbly successor system called AHLTA.

His concern, shared by others in the VistA community, is that VistA will be "refactored" from its current database and programming language, MUMPS, to something new, sleek and sexy, but that the redevelopers miss what made VistA great in the first place.