Wednesday, August 31, 2011

VA Launches Open Source Custodian - Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent Begins Operations

WASHINGTON (August 30, 2011)- 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) community.

"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 code repository 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,

Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans
Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000