Top Takeaways from the VistA Community Meeting

In last month’s VistA Community Meeting (VCM), industry thought leaders met to discuss issues and strategies for modernizing VistA—a tried-and-true electronic health record (EHR). The top takeaways from these insightful conversations include:

  • VistA is still the best long-term solution. Admittedly, VistA requires updating to meet the demands of healthcare delivery changes, shifting payment models, data security issues and Meaningful Use requirements. Yet it is a low-risk, proven technology that remains the most suitable EHR option for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), as well as for many other healthcare organizations. With its scalability and the hundreds of applications and tools already built around it, VistA is unmatched by other EHRs. Moreover, it continues to be one of the highest-rated EHRs available, making it well worth the investment to modernize.

  • VistA is growing outside the VA’s borders. Although originally developed exclusively for the VA, VistA is catching the interest of other segments as well. Healthcare organizations in the private sector have adopted VistA, as have some state and foreign governments. For instance, the country of Jordan recently implemented VistA in 98 sites with the help of tools designed specifically to facilitate and expedite implementation. DSS, Inc, is actively deploying vxVistA in more than 400 facilities. The state of North Carolina has shown similarly favorable results, achieving a Stage 6 rating on the HIMSS Analytics 8-Stage Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAMSM)—a remarkable achievement for an initial implementation. Against this successful backdrop, a group from Korea is also exploring VistA’s potential.

  • VistA members want to collaborate as a community. In the spirit of an EHR built on open source code, VistA members are working collaboratively to resolve issues, improve code intake processes and move VistA forward. With different versions of VistA available inside and outside the VA walls, the entire VistA community is exchanging information, tools, publications and educational resources with each other to help identify best practices. Initiatives like the VistA Immunizations Enhancement project (VIMM) are examples of ways the community is coming together to modernize the EHR.

  • A Pre-release of vxVistA 15.0. The first official release to OSEHRA of a VistA version, ready to be used in real patient care scenarios, that includes DSS improvements as well as community contributions.

Likewise, this same community is helping steer progress on the VA’s VistA Evolution program—the Electronic Health Management Platform (eHMP)—which was also a featured topic at the recent VistA Community Meeting.

As the OSEHRA Open Source Summit approaches, we look forward to continuing these important discussions and collaboratively creating a successful roadmap for modernizing VistA.

Plus, stay tuned at the OSEHRA summit for new upcoming key features to vxVistA 15.0 from DSS – originally presented at VCM – that will be available for download next week during the show.

Have a question or comment? We’d love to hear from you. Leave us a comment here, or chat with us on Twitter (@DSSHealthIT) or LinkedIn.