Veterans Affairs Researching Open Source Replacement for VistA

Wednesday Aug 18th 2010 by Developer.com Staff
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The VA has taken an industry group recommendation to embrace open source software into consideration in researching a plan to replace VistA.

A few months ago, the Veterans Affairs Department was urged by an industry group to embrace open source software for its digital health records system.

FierceGovernmentIT's David Perera has the story.

"The department released a request for information on August 11 soliciting white papers on the viability of open source software as a component of the VistA EHR architecture.

The VA's current system, the VA Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture, known as VistA, was developed in the 1980s with the now near-obsolete programing language MUMPS and is difficult to maintain and upgrade. The department has known for years now that VistA requires replacement but an effort to develop a modernized architecture framework for a new system has been bogged down. Some modernization components have been suspended as part of a VA-wide re-evaluation of IT programs."

The recommendation to look at open source solutions came from the Industry Advisory Council in Fairfax, VA. The VA CIO Roger Baker said the industry group's recommendations are "good advice," and that they are "being incorporated into our thought processes," Perera reported.

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