BT Bets on Medsphere's 'Open' EHR

Bernie Monegain | Healthcare IT News | January 13, 2015

The company that prides itself on offering an open source EHR now will also be offering a hosted version. Medsphere Systems and BT have agreed to jointly promote Medsphere's OpenVista EHR under a software-as-a-service, or SaaS, model. The goal, executives from both companies say, is to relieve hospitals of the many costly and burdensome IT responsibilities. Medsphere, which has developed and implemented a commercial version of VistA-EHR, built by the Department of Veterans Affairs, will work with BT to promote the affordability of Medsphere's business model and the proven nature of OpenVista. The service will be available in the U.S. and will be based on the BT Compute platform using a private cloud model.

As Medsphere CEO Irv Lichtenwald tells it, Medsphere and BT executives crossed paths and became friendly when both companies were working on projects abroad. Soon after, BT flew a group of its technology experts and software architects to San Francisco to vet the Medsphere offering. In the past year, says Lichtenwald, it seems Medsphere has drawn more attention than ever before. "BT is stepping up to the plate to be promoting Medsphere as a SaaS model after having done some real deep due diligence with us," he says. "This is a formal relationship with BT, where BT is going to be marketing the concept with us of going to a hosted model."

Also, Lichtenwald points out that Pricewaterhouse Coopers and General Dynamics, also endorsed Medsphere's technology and approach by partnering with the company to apply for a Department of Defense contract for a new EHR system. The contract, which could be as much as $11.2 million, is expected to be awarded this coming June. Besides the Medsphere group, there are three other consortiums bidding on the project...