Optimizing VistA: Making the #1 open source EHR work for you

Selecting the best electronic health record (EHR) for any healthcare organization is a matter of matching capabilities to overall needs. VistA’s open-source approach offers inherent advantages in that matching, delivered in a time-tested solution that Medscape ranks as the number one EHR for overall customer satisfaction. The ability of VistA to be adapted, built upon and improved over time underscores its remarkable capacity to remain relevant, timely and appealing. Still asking yourself if VistA is the right EHR for your organization? VistA applications today address more than 50 institutional needs, including mental health, radiology, oncology, document management, coding and inventory control, enabling versatility and flexibility and allowing organizations to:

  • Centralize operations with an open source platform – Because VistA is open source, its IT structures, protocols, formats, nomenclatures, taxonomies and more are all available for everyone to see. This fosters a community-wide dialogue aimed at continually addressing healthcare’s pressing challenges as they arise and striving to improve overall outcomes. Its scalable nature also makes it the EHR system most adaptable to the wide variety of healthcare models within the industry today.

  • Diversify functionality with clinical and financial applications – As mentioned, applications today address more than 50 institutional needs, many of which require unique provisions when it comes to information exchange, including mental health, women’s health, document management, coding and inventory control. For example, a behavioral health program may require an EHR to capture information from not only client appointments, but also group therapy sessions, offsite field trips and/or general rounds, making coordination efforts much more comprehensive. In more than 20 years of use, VistA has incorporated nearly 160 integrated software modules for clinical care, financial functions and infrastructure.

  • Maintain clinical retention with robust capabilities – As illustrated in a recent report, VistA is an EHR that clinicians can stand behind, scoring highest overall in categories such as “satisfaction” and “usefulness as a clinical tool.”

  • Integrate effective technology at an affordable price point – For many smaller healthcare practices and/or those that do not qualify for Meaningful Use incentives, like mental health organizations for example, price is often prohibitive when exploring implementation of workflow innovations. With VistA, organizations can afford the technology without sacrificing quality.

To reap the above benefits, successful implementation of VistA (or any other EHR for that matter) is dependent on the receptiveness of the organization’s employees. It’s thus a critical best practice to choose a partner with the expertise needed to navigate the complex on-boarding process and facilitate long-term adoption and success.

With its unique combination of openness and capabilities, VistA represents a tried-and-true solution to help organizations thrive as they navigate the changing landscape of healthcare.

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