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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

AMIA2005 - VistA and EHR

This morning's panel sessiojn titled 'Deployment of the VistA Free and Open Source EHR/EMR Software Stack' was well-attended, attracting about 150 attendees to 4 speakers about various aspects of VistA (, WorldVistA ( and free/libre/open source software (FLOSS) in healthcare.

The panel was chaired by Ignacio Valdes, Editor of Linux Medical News ( The opening speaker, K.S. Bhaskar, looked at open source software deployment issues, and provided a general overview of FLOSS and whay it should be used. Stating that his mission was 'world domination with free/open source software', he recapped many of the issues of the benefits of FLOSS in terms of security, quality and price, as well as the issues around freedom (the libre/free elements). On the security issues of FLOSS, he asserted that 'monocultures are essentially insecure' and that 'given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow'.

KS went on to describe some of the aspects of FLOSS business models, including lack of licensing charges, lack of restrictions on use, and thus the exploration of revenue generating potential based in support, education, enhancements and implementations. He concluded by discussing some aspects of the porting of VistA on GT.M and GNU/Linux.

David Whitten covered 'WorldVistA deployment and support plans', Brian Lord addressed aspects of business models for WorldVistA and vendors, and Ignacio Valdes concluded the session by looking at aspects of public policy.

The session concluded with the award of this year's Linux Medical News Freedom Award to Joseph Dal Molin.

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