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Open Source Healthcare Information Systems .........

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  • Open Source Healthcare Information Systems .........

    All possible open source options were reviewed. The first was Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) which was originally developed and maintained by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), based on the systems software architecture and implementation methodology developed by the U.S. Public Health Service jointly with the National Bureau of Standards. It was designed to provide a high-quality medical care environment for the country's military veterans. VistA has a proven record of supporting a large variety of clinical settings and medical delivery systems. VistA is widely believed to be the largest integrated HIS in the world. VistA is in production today at hundreds of healthcare facilities across the country from small outpatient clinics to large medical centers. The software is currently used by the Indian Health Service and a number of other healthcare organizations around the world.
    An important problem with VistA is MUMPS, the language used to implement it. Massachusetts General Hospital Utility Multi-Programming System (MUMPS) is a programming language that came into being by the efforts of Dr. Octo G. Barnett and his team around 1967. For reasons, beyond the scope of this paper, MUMPS never became as popular and widely used as other languages of that era, such as C. Very few professional developers have the experience in developing applications in MUMPS. Moreover, not many people are interested in learning MUMPS that means that any modifications/enhancements to VistA would be extremely difficult.
    Another open source, generic, multi-language HIS is Care2x . The project was started in May 2002 with the release of the first beta version of Care2x by a nurse who was dissatisfied with the HIS in the hospital where she was working. Since then, the development team has grown to over 100 members from over 20 countries. Care2x is a web-based HIS that is built upon other open-source projects: the Apache web server from the Apache Foundation, the scripting language PHP and the relational database management system mySQL. Several source code branches exist that try to integrate the option to choose from other