Introduction to Open Source VistA EHR

K.S. Bhaskar (Fidelity Information Services, Inc.), Ben Mehling (Medsphere Systems), David Whiles (Midland Memorial Hospital)
Location: F151
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The VistA healthcare information system is in daily production use at the largest health care system in the US – the US Department of Veterans Affairs, which has been repeatedly recognized for delivering some of the best care at the lowest cost. VistA – and a variant called RPMS used by the Indian Health Service – power hundreds of hospitals and thousands of clinics and provide real-time electronic health records for millions of patient encounters annually. It has been successfully adopted in the US and internationally. Join members of the open source VistA community for an introduction to the software, its history, and the current landscape of the ecosystem.

  • What is VistA EHR?
    • Vista Successes
    • Clinical Transformation
    • VistA within the VA today
  • The open source VistA landscape
    • Distributions
    • Projects
    • Players
  • VistA’s open technology stack
    • M Engine
    • FileMan DBMS
    • Applications
    • Client software
    • Extending the platform
  • How can you participate / get involved?
  • Q & A
Photo of K.S. Bhaskar

K.S. Bhaskar

Fidelity Information Services, Inc.

Bhaskar manages GT.M a mature key-value NoSQL database that is currently the legal system of record for tens of millions of bank accounts worldwide, including some of the largest real time core processing systems live anywhere. It is also increasingly used for electronic health records, especially as a platform for VistA

GT.M on x86 Lnux is Free / Open Source Software (AGPL v3).

Features of GT.M include:

  • TB scale databases
  • ACID transactions
  • Extreme robustness
  • Asynchronous replication with eventual Consistency

Bhaskar is an engineer by training and inclination, and has worked on high reliability and high performance software for over thirty years. Since 1999, his primary desktop has been Linux.

Bhaskar was a co-founder of WorldVistA a non-profit charitable organization that promotes the use of VistA for electronic health records, and served on its Board for several years.

Bhaskar was awarded Linux Medical News’ 2002 Achievement Award, and WorldVistA received Wired magazine’s 2007 Rave Award for Medicine.

Photo of Ben Mehling

Ben Mehling

Medsphere Systems

Present at the creation, Ben Mehling has made some of the most crucial and enduring contributions to Medsphere’s success. Originally joining the fledgling open-source operation in 2002 as director of technology, he transitioned to director of engineering and development in 2005 and became director of ecosystem operations in 2008. Within Medsphere’s Healthcare Open Source Ecosystem, Ben works to facilitate collaboration among clinicians, developers, business partners and others in enhancing the OpenVista electronic health record. Prior to joining Medsphere, Ben spent several years working with the University of California, Irvine, Graduate School of Management (GSM). His varied tenure with the GSM included lengthy terms as MBA computing manager and web services/development manager, as well as a stint as interim CIO for UC Irvine and member of the permanent CIO search committee. In his precious free time, Ben plays football (European variety) and spends time with his wife, Holly, and sons Tedd and Miles.

Photo of David Whiles

David Whiles

Midland Memorial Hospital

David Whiles is Director of Information Systems at Midland Memorial Hospital in Midland Texas. He initiated and managed the implementation of OpenVista, an open source EHR based on the VA’s VistA EHR. David holds a BBA in Accounting and BS in Computer Science and is a former CPA in the state of Texas. David and Midland Memorial have received several recognitions for their accomplishments in implementing the VistA EHR including HIMSS Analytics Stage 6, CIO 100 Award and American Business Awards (Stevies) finalist.

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