The July issue of Washington Monthly has an interesting article on the relative merits of open source (specifically VistA) electronic medical records and proprietary / closed-source systems (including mentions of Cerner and Epic Systems). It covers some of the advantages of having a good EMR system in place, particularly for hospitals and hospital networks.
It also covers an issue that has gotten a lot of attention in the open source medical software world since February – the $20 billion of funding to promote use of EMR systems in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the “stimulus bill.” That funding mandates “meaningful use” of “certified” EMR systems. Initial recommendations as to what “meaningful use” were released in mid-June, but the question of “certified” is still being fought since the only existing certification authority (CCHIT) is dominated by large software manufacturers and has costs that are prohibitive for small vendors and open source projects.
Read the article “Code Red – How software companies could screw up Obama’s health care reform” at Washington Monthly.