OSEHRA Is On the Move

Seong K. Mun, PhDOSEHRA is on the Move. As we clear the hurdles of establishing Governance structure, clarifying Vision, implementing work Processes, and employing our IT Infrastructure and Development Tools, we simultaneously are preparing ourselves for the long run with the Open Source community.

April 2012 was a busy month.

We began the month by convening our first meeting of the OSEHRA Board of Directors; General (Retired) James Peake, Mr. Michael O’Neill and Dr. John Halamka. This inaugural Board meeting marks our official emergence as an independent organization with its own governing board. We will publish the meeting minutes on our web-site.

Government Activities

Interagency Clinical Integration Board (ICIB): OSEHRA briefed the Department of Defense (DOD) Interagency Clinical Integration Board (ICIB). The Board represents the user community regarding electronic health record issues. OSEHRA was then officially invited to participate in an ICIB meeting in the future.

VA Open Source Orientation Roadshows: The OSEHRA team conducted two full day Open Source Orientation Session for VA (Veterans Affairs) Product Development and other OIT (Office of Information & Technology) staff. The first orientation session took place in Albany, New York, and consisted of approximately 50 VA personnel both on-site and participating “virtually” via Live Meeting. OSEHRA team members Rick Avila and Luis Ibanez led this effort. The second session was organized to take place in Oakland, California, and included myself on-site, and approximately 140 VA product development and other staff members in live and virtual participation from around the country.

Open Source Industry Think Tank: The VA was invited to present OSEHRA as a case study (http://www.cvent.com/events/open-source-think-tank-napa-2012/event-summary-2eb8425a5fab44a794859f36a83f39f8.aspx) for the most recent convened Open Source Industry Think Tank in Napa California. The Think Tank is comprised of approximately 150 senior Open Source (OS) executives who meet periodically to review major OS business developments and to offer collective recommendations on how to successfully manage the emerging programs. VA CIO, Roger Baker, VA CTO, Peter Levine and OSEHRA Board member, Mike O’Neill of VA, together with myself, presented OS initiatives of VA and the activities of OSEHRA. The recommendations of the Think Tank were excellent, and will be posted to the OSEHRA website when released by the event organizers, the Olliance group.

Health Information Technology Innovation and Development Environments (HITIDE) & CONNECT : OSEHRA was invited to brief the HITIDE Project Team on April 25 and the CONNECT (http://www.connectopensource.org/) Committee on May 1. These two projects have been very successful in the initial development of concepts and solutions for the health IT community. OSEHRA presentations were well received by these groups as they discussed a possible transition to new operational models of engaging the greater open source community for long term sustainability.

DOD/VA Interagency Program Office: OSEHRA hosted the first official meeting with the Interagency Program Office (http://www.usmedicine.com/articles/the-dodva-interagency-program-of%EF%AC%81ce-making-strides-for-the-future-of-health-care-information-.html), the lead agency for the iEHR initiative on April 25. OSEHRA briefed the capabilities and on-going activities, especially with VA and the community. A broad range of topics of engagement and procedures were discussed.

U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command: OSEHRA was invited to brief US Army Medical Research and Material Command (MRMC), Ft. Detrick (http://www.mrmc.smallbusopps.army.mil/ and the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center [TATRC] (http://www.tatrc.org/) on the progress of OS initiatives. The MRMC has been an active proponent of health informatics.

Code Contribution and Code Management Activities

Computerized Patient Record System, CPRS: At the beginning of the year OSEHRA added support for VistA’s Computerized Patient Record System, CPRS v28. CPRS 28 is now available within OSEHRA’s open source git repository. In addition, CPRS v29, which is currently under development by the VA, has been contributed to OSEHRA as an OSEHRA technical journal contribution (http://code.osehra.org/journal/). These major code additions from the VA have expanded the computer language support of OSEHRA from a purely MUMPS language support to now also include Pascal/Delphi.

Code Coverage for VistA: Rigorous software quality testing is one of the keys to maintaining a high quality code base. In an effort to improve our ability to monitor software quality, OSEHRA has added code coverage for Mumps to the OSEHRA software quality dashboard (http://code.osehra.org/CDash/index.php?project=Open+Source+EHR). The code coverage statistic reported on the software quality dashboard indicates the percentage of the Mumps code base that the regression tests actually exercise, which is a highly valuable code quality indicator. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that code coverage has been available for Mumps in an open source community.

Working Group Activities

Architecture:Visual Cross Reference Tool: The current OSEHERA Visual Cross Reference Tool based on XINDEX output covers approximately 60% of module to module dependencies. To model the remaining dependencies, the Architecture Working Group have been developing and reviewing methodologies for extracting additional dependency types, e.g., File pointers, FileMan DB calls, RPC, HL7, and extended action protocol. The vetted methodology is currently being used to improve the OSEHERA Visual Cross Reference Tool.

Architecture Certification Tool: he AWG reviewed the proposed Architecture Certification tool specification for the October 1, 2012 initiative. The plan was revised to include a RDF repository and the use of FileMan Query Language (FMQL) for data extraction.

Guest Presentations/Archives: Over the past few months, the AWG have provided a forum for presentation by VA staffs including:

  • Health Management Platform architecture and relationship to iEHR, Marcia Pickard
  • Changes in patches associated with ICD 10, Danier Territo
  • SOA and ESB, Michael Bell

Code Convergence:

Five Major Versions of VistA: Code Convergence has focused its efforts around identifying and classifying the variations between five major versions of VistA software: OpenVistA, WorldVistA, Open vxVistA, RPMS, and FOIA VistA.

Registration Package: This analysis has primarily focused on the registration package, and has driven the community to develop a standard set of classifications of these variations. Currently, the group is focusing on developing standard methods to resolve these variations. Discussions have focused on the technical details of components such as automated testing, documentation requirements, and patching procedures which will need to be agreed upon by all project participants.
Community Activities

Composition: The OSEHRA community continues to grow with employees from over 100 companies in Industry, faculty and/or students from over 20 universities in Academia, and Government officials from over a half dozen federal agencies and departments represented in our authenticated user base 88 individuals.

Advanced Distributed Learning: We are continuing our efforts to develop training with our colleagues in both VA Product Development and VA Information Technology Workforce Development, and anticipate being able to offer you modular, scalable, online training in open source best practices in the next month or two. For a direct link to currently available educational resources and a calendar of upcoming OSEHRA and partner events, please see: http://www.osehra.org/group/education.

New Workgroups: We are also actively hosting OSEHRA Workgroup meetings on an almost daily basis. The Workgroups grapple with complex and compelling topics needed to accelerate the rate of EHR codebase improvements including software “Architecture”, “Developmental Tools”, “Code Convergence” and “Certification”. We invite you to join in these and new Workgroups such as “Genomics” and “Advanced Imaging” as they emerge. You can find more information about and join a group aligned with your interest at: http://www.osehra.org/groups.

On the Horizon:

  • DoD iEHR Meeting: 14-15 May 2012
  • World VistA Meeting in Fairfax, Virginia- June 4-6, 2012
  • OSCAN Meeting –June 16-20
  • Vista Expo Meeting in Seattle- September 11-14, 2012
  • OSEHRA Annual Meeting, Greater Washington DC, October, 2012
OSEHRA Is On the Move was authored by Seong K. Mun, PhD and first published in the OSEHRA President's Blog. It is reprinted by Open Health News with permission. The original post can be found here.