The Department of Veterans Affairs on April 1, 2011 released a draft RFP to develop an Open Source community around the VistA electronic health record system. When an award is made to obtain a custodial agent, VA will deploy the Open Source VistA to all of its facilities and will participate in Open Source VistA with other public and private sector participants. A key step in the process has to be to select a custodial agent to perform all aspects of operating the Open Source community.
The VistA system is currently used in 153 major VA hospitals and more than 800 community-based outpatient clinics across the U.S. It forms the basis of the Resource and Patient Management System, the EHR system used by the Indian Health system as well as the basis of installations in more than 50 hospitals globally.
“VistA is an important asset for VA and the Nations,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki. “As we work to ensure that we provide veterans with the best in healthcare, modernization of VistA is absolutely critical. This move towards Open Source welcomes private sector partners to work with the VA and in turn, will ensure that VA clinicians have the best tools possible.”
According to Roger Baker, VA Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology, “We want to ensure that vendors of proprietary products can easily and confidently integrate their products with VistA to make them available for the VA to purchase and use in our facilities.”
VA expects to begin conversion to an Open Source version of VistA by this summer.