Fred Trotter on open source

Fred Trotter is  quoted in  the new Government Technology (Miracle Cure?) on the emergence of open source software as a serious alternative for EHR users.

VistA Office EHR (VOE) is at the cusp of achieving a significant milestone in the health IT world, said Fred Trotter, who oversaw AMIA’s Open Source EHR Review project.

VOE arose from a collaborative software development effort funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a federal agency, that involved four other federal agencies, the Iowa Foundation for Medical Care and WorldVistA.

Trotter wrote FreeB, an open source medical billing engine, and now works as an open source health IT consultant and helps physicians use open source programs in their medical offices.

The VOE software is being put through a stringent certification process that’s run by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT), a recognized certification body that specializes in EHRs and their networks. Vendors voluntarily submit their EHR software to the CCHIT for certification.

“It costs an enormous amount of money for vendors to get certified, and what’s coming ultimately is that — and it’s already happening now — this CCHIT certification is going to be mandatory,” Trotter said. “Probably the top 40 or 50 proprietary vendors have already gone through the process, and are certified. VOE is standing to be the first [general public license] GPL-available project to go through that. Now that is a huge thing.”

June 4, 2007

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