VA-established OSEHRA (Open Source EHR Alliance) announces plans to cease operations

G2X TAKE: This non-profit, established by Veterans Affairs with a stated mission to “Build and support an open source community of users, developers, service providers, and researchers engaged in advancing electronic health record software and related health information technology,” will officially cease operations on Valentine’s Day.  

Said President and CEO, Seong K. Mun, PhD: “With a heavy heart, I am announcing that OSEHRA will cease operation at noon on Friday, February 14, 2020. I want to thank all the Members of the OSEHRA Community who have given their best to build an open source ecosystem for health IT. I am also very grateful to our staff, who have contributed heroic efforts to build a sustainable organization while leveraging community support. Finally, I thank the members of our Board of Directors, who volunteered their time and unflagging efforts to guide the community and advocate on our behalf.” Read the announcement here.

Background Information  

About OSEHRA  

“Our Mission – Build and support an open source community of users, developers, service providers, and researchers engaged in advancing electronic health record software and related health information technology. OSEHRA’s mission includes the creation of a vendor-neutral community for the creation, evolution, promotion and support of an open source Electronic Health Record. This community will operate with the transparency and agility that characterize open source software initiatives. This entails not only the development of a community of software experts, clinicians, and implementers, but also a robust ecosystem of complementary products, capabilities and services.” 

Our Vision – “OSEHRA will be the hub of open source software efforts in the health information technology community. We will use the collective resources of the Alliance to drive innovation, and be an honest broker to the health information technology community. The open source Electronic Health Record code base established and maintained by the community will be continuously refreshed, modern and modular, and enable users to acquire competitive options for implementation, customization, training and services from multiple vendors while avoiding vendor lock-in.” 

How did OSEHRA originate? – “The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) established OSEHRA. The VA Office of Information & Technology (OI&T) is responsible for the development and maintenance of the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), VA’s electronic health record (EHR). VistA is built from more than 100 discrete applications that together comprise our highly integrated and fully-automated health information system. VistA is the electronic information service that enables clinical care delivery at 152 VA health care facilities and 928 ambulatory care and community-based outpatient clinics worldwide.” 

“By 2010, VA recognized that VistA’s rate of innovation and improvement had slowed substantially, and the codebase was unnecessarily isolated from private sector components, technology, and outcome-improving impact. To address those issues, VA established OSEHRA, the mechanism to open the aperture to broadly-based public and private sector contributions.

“VA issued a request for proposal (RFP) on April 22, 2011 to competitively select an organization and management team to establish an open source agent as a non-profit independent entity.  In June 2011, VA selected the proposal submitted by a consortium led by a small business. A new independent OSEHRA was established as a Delaware registered 501(c)(6) doing business in Arlington, Virginia. Dr. Seong K. Mun was selected as the founding President and CEO; Lieutenant General (US Army, Retired) James Peake, MD, the 16th Secretary of Department of Veterans Affairs, was chosen as the founding Chair of the Board of Directors.”

Read more about OSEHRA here.

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