State lawmakers oppose open source for VA health records

Single-vendor approach at odds with VA's plans for open source development

A group of Wisconsin lawmakers are trying to talk the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments to abandon their plan for an open-source approach to digital health records, according to a report today by Bob Brewin, in Nextgov. Instead, the legislators want the agencies to use a single commercial vendor to handle their digital health records because that approach would be faster to deploy, more efficient and better for patient safety -- and could provide a contract for a Wisconsin company,

If VA and DOD accept that recommendation, it potentially could cause a delay in current plans for integration and modernization of VA and DOD record systems, Brewin reports. It also could benefit medical record system solutions provider Epic Systems Corp. of Verona, Wisconsin.

In a response to one of the Wisconsin lawmakers, Roger Baker, VA assistant secretary for information and technology, stood by the open source approach.

Related articles:

VA considers open source ecosystem for VistA

DOD, VA prepare recommendation for joint EHR for late March, officials say

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.


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