Medsphere pleased with Fed's VistA direction

The program to upgrade VistA beyond MUMPS gets a big thumbs-up from Medsphere.
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive

The program to upgrade VistA beyond MUMPS gets a big thumbs-up from Medsphere.

Medsphere COO Rick Jung (right) called ZDNet this morning to deliver that message.

"The notion of how to move forward struck us as an interesting and thoughtful way to modernize the technology. It's something that should be modernized," he said.

One reason for his optimism is that enabling technology for converting from VistA's native MUMPS technology is already available. Medsphere calls its MUMPS conversion system OVID, which stands for Open Vista Interface Domain.

"We knew if you were going to make a real project of this you would have to allow everyone to participate. Our product does just that. You can expose the API to any language."

The IAC report's commitment to open source as a matter of policy and its favoring of the VA's participation in the larger VistA ecosystem were both greeted warmly at Medsphere, Jung said. New technologies like OVID can extend the stack and "allow the data to flow," which Jung said is the key to real health reform.

Who gets the credit matters less to Jung than that the work gets done. "Health care is about the data, it's about the adoption, it's about having a usable system that's widely adopted. But meaningful use is about moving the needle on population management."

That means widespread adoption, especially by clinics. Medsphere's strategy is to move down from hospitals, with projects like its recent one with UCSD and the Family Health Centers of San Diego.

But Medsphere can also support SaaS through business partners like the Phoenix Health System. "The combination of hosted and local makes us unique," he concluded.

So while there are going to be critics, and there are going to be reporters who get the story wrong, implying that VistA is about to be scrapped, Medsphere moves straight ahead, believing change is possible and things will work out.

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