Thursday, September 15, 2011

#OSEHRA: VA Launches Open Source Custodian for Health Records (#opensource)

The VA recently announced an initiative with big implications for  health care records, at

August 30, 2011
VA Launches Open Source Custodian
Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent Begins Operations
"WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced it has
completed an important milestone on its joint path with the Department of Defense (DoD) to
create a single electronic health record system for servicemembers and Veterans. OSEHRA,
the Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent, has begun operations and will serve as
the central governing body of a new open source Electronic Health Record (EHR)
"We developed our open source strategy to engage the public and private sectors in the
rapid advancement of our EHR software, which is central to the care we deliver to Veterans
and servicemembers and to our joint EHR collaboration with the Department of Defense,”
said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “With the launch of OSEHRA, we
begin the implementation of our strategy and we look forward to the creation of a vibrant
open source EHR community.”
As part of the initiation of OSEHRA operations, VA has contributed its current EHR,
known as VistA (Veterans Integrated System Technology Architecture), to seed the effort.
OSEHRA will oversee the community of EHR users, developers, and service providers that
will deploy, use, and enhance the EHR software.
Individuals and organizations interested in participating in OSEHRA
( are invited to join through the community website. Established as an
independent non-profit corporation during its initial phase of operation, OSEHRA is putting
in place the framework and the tools that will enable the public sector, private industry, and
academia to collaborate to advance EHR technology.
Draft documents describing key framework components, such as the design of its coderepository and the definition of its software quality certification process, are available on the
OSEHRA community website. Community feedback is welcome as the OSEHRA team
finalizes these designs in preparation for launch of full technical operations this fall.
The design of OSEHRA is being led by The Informatics Application Group (tiag)
under a contract awarded by VA in June 2011.
Moving to an open source model invites innovation from the public and private
sectors. It is an important element of VA’s strategy to ensure that VA clinicians have the
best tools possible, and that Veterans receive the best health care possible.

OSEHRA (Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent) governs an open, collaborative
community of users, developers, and researchers engaged in advancing electronic health
record technology. For more information, visit
Please note that collaboration is being requested from parties with interests and/or expertise. If you have an interest in efficient yet secure healthcare records, register at the site and make your contribution!

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