DoD Decision On VistA Disappointing

David Perera | FierceGovernmentIT | June 3, 2013

The Defense Department announcement last month that it will move forward with plans to acquire a commercial electronic health record is disappointing, if not unexpected.

Proponents of the Veterans Affairs Department EHR, known as VistA, have long contended that the Military Health System has a prejudicially anti-VistA attitude. Although legitimate concerns exist around VistA code, the DoD has certainly done its best (worst?) to telegraph that attitude, by voicing demonstrably false concerns about VistA or by accentuating its risks and minimizing risk from a proprietary system.

DoD Under Secretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall, in making the announcement, said the department "may end up with a VistA derivative" – but that statement only accentuates the folly of what DoD is preparing to do in light of the fact that VistA is an open source solution. [...]