Medsphere Systems Markets Open Source Electronic Health Records System

4/6/10

(Page 2 of 3)

Medsphere. Before downloading the software, however, users must agree to share whatever improvements they make so other OpenVista users may benefit, Jung says. “Everyone who takes the application agrees to make a contribution,” he says.

Medsphere’s competitors include Sequence Managers Software, which also adapts the VA software for customers, and McKesson and Cerner, which market proprietary systems. All of the systems are used to electronically store a patient’s medical history in one place. The electronic records contain information on allergies and prescription medications to make sure there are no unsafe interactions with a new drug. The records also contain information on treatment guidelines for such chronic illnesses as heart disease and diabetes.

The Obama administration plans to spend $20 billion in economic stimulus funds as an incentive for hospitals to start using these systems. To qualify for the funds, hospitals must demonstrate “meaningful use” of the technology over a five-year period. A report in The New England Journal of Medicine in March said meaningful use is defined as improving quality, safety and efficiency; improving patient access to care; improving care coordination; improving public health; and ensuring patient privacy and data security.

According to the report, only one of the nearly 3,000 acute care hospitals surveyed met the first four criteria. (The survey did not assess … Next Page »

Denise Gellene is a former Los Angeles Times science writer and regular contributor to Xconomy. You can reach her at dgellene@xconomy.com Follow @

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  • http://www.webkass.com/ KASS Inc.

    Even with Open-Source software, physicians need guidance in setting up and using these Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems in compliance with the law. It always comes down to people – people using software well or poorly, people who are good with open-source technology and those who aren’t. Physicians and office managers need a partner, whether using open source or more commercial packages.