Is the VA going proprietary?

Is the VA going proprietary?

Summary: This is a big loss for the VA's VistA system, on which WorldVistA is based. This makes it unlikely that an open source lab software system will be built to the scale necessary for an industry standard.

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TOPICS: Open Source
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Veterans Administration sealThe Veterans Administration has chosen a proprietary system from Cerner called PathNet to automate its laboratories. The same system was also chosen by the Department of Defense.

This is a big loss for the VA's VistA system, on which WorldVistA is based. This makes it unlikely that an open source lab software system will be built to the scale necessary for an industry standard.

Writes Medsphere co-founder Scott Shreeve:

I find the news from Cerner interesting, and concerning, for the long term prognosis of VistA within the VA. If anything, it should be a call to action to see if a community can rally around the "good enough" solution to make it market competitive.

Fred Trotter says this increases the risk of vendor lock-in in all areas of medical software. A proprietary system must be completely replaced, and the data re-formatted to the new system to be useful.

Without powerful open source solutions, the medical industry will be forced to choose among proprietary offerings.

The VA has just taken a giant step backward. 

Topic: Open Source

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6 comments
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  • It is a giant step ...

    ... backwards only in the minds of Open Source promoters. Fortunately there is not many of those!
    ShadeTree
    • There are many open source supporters...

      ...more all the time.

      The problem is that hospitals are still seeking proprietary advantage, and failing to act as customers do in other industries, which is to understand that closed source gives all the power to the supplier, none to the customer.
      DanaBlankenhorn
      • The VA is not in the business of crusades.

        Nor is it their job to develop commercially viable open source software for other hospitals benefit. Their job is to care for the veterans. If the proprietary system allows them to do it in a more efficient or cost effective manner then it is the right choice.
        ShadeTree
  • Most Hospitals are...

    a quilt-work of proprietary systems anyhow.
    Rome wasn't built in a day. ;)
    D T Schmitz
    • VA hospitals were all open source...

      Actually it's public record, which Medsphere turned into Open Source.

      But with the VA now going proprietary, who will create a lab system which is good enough to compete and is also open source?
      DanaBlankenhorn
  • Follow the money

    It will lead to the Dragon.

    Our whole Government is sold out to the highest sneaky bidder. Why not the VA, just a small branch of the Government. After all, our high-ranking military leaders need swimming pools, mansions, yachts, and Mercedez Benze, too. We can't expect them to live in a trailer, drive a pick-up, and eat cat-fish like an enlisted man.
    Ole Man