West Virginia signs contract for open source-based EHR

Open source-based electronic health records received a significant vote of confidence last month, with West Virginia signing a contract to implement an application based on the Veterans Administration’s Vista application.

Last month, the state’s department of health and human services signed a contract with Medsphere Systems Corp. the Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based company delivers the product, which it calls OpenVista. The contract calls for the implementation of the open-source electronic health record system in seven state-operated acute care hospitals, psychiatric hospitals and long-term care facilities.

The initiative is part of a Medicaid redesign program the state is undertaking, said MedSphere executive Frank Pecaitis. “The state sees the implementation of an EHR as as a key initiative to improve healthcare quality and lower costs,” Pecaitis said.

MedSphere’s OpenVista is a commercial implementation of the VistA EHR system developed and used by the Department of Veteran Affairs in all of its facilities.

“This effort is an important step toward healthcare reform efforts in West Virginia,” said Martha Walker, secretary of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

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