DSS donates open source search tool to OSEHRA

By Mike Miliard
10:50 AM

Document Storage Systems has released to the Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent an open source tool that enables clinicians who use the VistA EHR to search a patient's record for free text data that might otherwise be scattered throughout the chart.

Published via the Apache 2.0 Open Source license, DSS' Patient Search Tool and Launcher were developed as part of the Veterans Affairs Innovation Initiative (VAi2) in collaboration with the North Florida/South Georgia VAMC in Gainesville, Fla.

These innovation initiatives are designed to spur innovation within VA by providing opportunities to partner with the best of the private sector and solve the Department's most pressing challenges.

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The DSS Patient Search Tool is a VistA EHR extension to the Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS) that aims to solve a major problem for clinicians by allowing them to identify and isolate text data within a patient’s record in real time, DSS officials note.

Discrete and free text data buried deep in the patient’s notes, orders, problems and medications take valuable clinical time and effort, but the DSS Patient Search Tool can retrieve this information in moments – a boon for enhancing patient-centered care, say officials. Without the DSS Patient Search Tool, the information stored in a patient record as free text can be difficult to find or missed entirely as patients are seen over a period of time. The launcher will enable CPRS to seamlessly run the Patient Search Tool within a patient record.


Donating a proprietary product, developed under VAi2, helps support the OSEHRA business model by promoting collaboration and a strong partnership between the vendor community and VA. Community and vendor engagement is essential to the success of the Open Source EHR Initiative and VistA Extensions development, officials say.

“For 20 years, DSS, Inc. has been committed to improving patient care and accelerating VistA EHR innovation," said Mark Byers, CEO and president of DSS, Inc. "We hope the donation of the DSS Patient Search Tool as an Open Source license will further this innovation, and promote the importance of government and private company collaboration."

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