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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.
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