Archive | Health IT RSS feed for this section

Future of Open Source Survey Results


North Bridge and Black Duck Software just published the Future of Open Source 10th Anniversary Survey Results – an activity that OSEHRA participated in.

Some key insights from this year’s study (Excerpted from the study):

  • Open Source Is The Modern Architecture. Open Source is the foundation now for nearly all applications, operating systems, cloud computing, databases, big data and more. Open Source development has gone from the exception to the rule.
  • Open Source IS the Engine of Innovation. Open Source is driving business because it facilitates faster, more agile development. This translates into quicker builds, accelerate time to market and vastly superior interoperability.
  • There is a new generation of companies and business models emerging. Respondents report that in the next two or three years, the business models that will generate the most revenue for open source vendors are SaaS (46%), Custom Development (42%), and Services/Support (41%).
  • Challenges remain: Open Source security and management practices have not kept pace with rapid adoption. In the wake of high profile breaches, there is likely to be more emphasis on security.
  • Participation and contribution will secure the future of open source. Investing in the open source community spurs innovation, delivers exponential value and most of all, it’s fun.

For more information, see the slide show –

Post from OSEHRA Team

See full post:

Open Source Health Collaborates with OpenEMR on Cloud-based Integrative Health Platform

Open Source Health

Toronto, Ontario, Canada / ACCESSWIRE / December 11, 2014 / Open Source Health Inc. (CSE:OSH), a cloud based integrative healthcare platform that puts control in the hands of women to educate, advocate and collaborate on their own healthcare is pleased to announce it has entered into an agreement with Medical Information Integration LLC, of Portland, Oregon, USA to add Open Source Health’s technology for Integrative and Preventive medicine to their advanced openEMR platform making it the first of its kind globally. This will allow the thousands of clinics and practitioners serving millions of patients in over 200 countries to expand their practice from disease management to Integrative and Preventive Medicine.

More …


OpenEMR 4.2.0 has just been released!!!

7-22-13 OEMR Logo

New feature list in OpenEMR 4.2.0:

2014 ONC Certified as a Modular EHR
CMS Portal (Patient Portal via a WordPress Module)
E-Sign Patient Forms and Encounters
Templates for Patient Documents
Track Anything Form
PDF output printing; Patient Label, Patient Address Label, Barcode Label
Modules Manager (supports both ZEND and native modules)
Patient Form Searching
Numerous Layout Based Visit Form Improvements
0 Option, read only, Layout Based Visit Form
A Option, age in years in Date field, Layout Based Visit Form
B Option, age in weeks in Date field, Layout Based Visit Form
P Option, default to previous value, Layout Based Visit Form
Field Skipping feature in Layout Based Visit Form
Source attribute in Layout Based Visit Form
Lab Module Improvements
Patient Education Module Improvements
Billing Module Improvements
Direct Messaging Module Improvements
Log Module Improvements
Supported in 26 languages
Support for most recent ICD9 and ICD10 code sets
Numerous Security Fixes and Security Improvements
Numerous Bug Fixes

It can be downloaded here:

Installation instructions can be found here:

Upgrading instructions can be found here:


Technical requirements for coordinating care in an Accountable Care Organization

Andy Oram with O'Reilly Radar

Andy Oram with O’Reilly Radar

Video Interview with Andy Oram of O’Reilly at OSCON 2012 …

Excerpt …
The concept of an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) reflects modern hopes to improve medicine and cut costs in the health system. Tony McCormick, a pioneer in the integration of health care systems, describes what is needed on the ground to get doctors working together.

Read more and watch the Video …

Meaningul Use Flex-IT and Hardship Exemptions

Is case you hadn’t heard ….

Flex-IT Act – For those not familiar with this act, it would change the attestation period for meaningful use stage 2 from 365 days to only 90 days. This act is being backed by some very strong healthcare organizations including a call from the AMA, CHIME, HIMSS, and MGMA to make this change. As is noted by these organizations, very few hospitals have attested to meaningful use stage 2 and only 2 percent of eligible providers have attested to meaningful use stage 2 so far (they do have until the end of February).

If the meaningful use stage 2 numbers continue on this trend, CMS will need to do something or risk having the program be labeled a failure. It’s hard to predict what will happen (or not happen) in Washington, but the pressure to change the meaningful use stage 2 reporting periods to 90 days is growing. Poor meaningful use stage 2 attestation numbers could very well push this issue over the edge.

EHR Penalty Hardship Exemption – In case you missed it, CMS reopened the meaningful use hardship exception period. Originally you had to file for a meaningful use hardship exception by July 1, 2014, but you now have until November 30, 2014 to apply for an exception. This is a big deal for those who likely didn’t know they’d need an exception for meaningful use.

While this exception is related to the EHR certification flexibility (ie. your EHR vendor software isn’t ready for you to implement and attest), many have wondered if we won’t see more ways for organizations to avoid the coming meaningful use penalties. These prognosticators suggest that if meaningful use stage 2 numbers continue to be as awful as what’s described above, it’s possible that the government will provide some relief from the meaningful use penalties. As of now, the meaningful use penalties are coming, so you better be prepared.

Exerpted from:

Are you subject to Meaningful Use adjustments coming in 2015?

Eligible professionals participating in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program may be subject to payment adjustments beginning on January 1, 2015. CMS will be determining payment adjustments based on MU attestation submitted prior to the 2015 calendar year, with a requirement to demonstration prior to 2015 to avoid payment adjustments. If you haven’t taken a look at your posture in terms of meeting the requirements for meaningful use reimbursement, here are a few things to examine. They break down by the year you started and the program mix that you were accepted into.

If the first demonstration of meaningful use began in 2011 or 2012, MU must be demonstrated for a full year in 2013 to avoid the 2015 adjustment. If demonstration of meaningful use began in 2013, you needed to demonstrate meaningful use for a 90-day reporting period to avoid the payment adjustment in 2015.

CMS Guidelines

If meaningful use begins in 2014, to be eligible you must demonstrate MU for a 90-day reporting period to avoid the payment adjustment in 2015. The reporting period must occur in the first 9 months of calendar year 2014, and eligible professionals must attest to meaningful use no later than October 1, 2014.

All of those who attest must continue to demonstrate meaningful use every year to avoid payment adjustments in subsequent years. If you are eligible to participate in both the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, you MUST demonstrate meaningful use to avoid the payment adjustments, dual program enrollees may demonstrate meaningful use, and if you are only participate in the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, you are not subject to these payment adjustments.

OEMR reaches first fund raising goal for OpenEMR Stage II MU Certification


The OEMR 501c3 and the community of OpenEMR Developers and Users have been working hard to raise contributions to cover the high cost of testing for Meaningful Use Stage 2 certification.  We are pleased to announce that goal number 1 achieved. We have $25,000 in the bank to pay for the certification testing with margin for retesting if needed or modular certification.

Huge thanks go to the community, the users and the supporting vendors.

Our goal is to be certified by June 2014 or sooner.

–Tony McCormick

OEMR President

Peace Corps OpenEMR Project Starts Now!

Medical Information Integration. LLC and Ensoftek, LLC are poised to start long awaited Peace Corps OpenEMR integration and deployment project.  We have an incredible team between the two primary companies and we will keep the community updated on the progress.  This project will, over the next two years, deploy OpenEMR to every Peace Corps post in the world.



Ignite Health – Changing the Health Care IT Model with Open Source


Tony has been invited to speak at Technology Association of Oregon’s Ignite Health!

Open Source solutions for the health care IT industry are leaping into the fore front these days. With several major solutions that are ONC certified, big data analysis tools appearing, and efforts like OSHERA (US government push to make VisTa open, OpenHIE and Peace Corp’s adoption of OpenEMR for world wide deployment it’s time to pay attention. This presentation with touch on the hot projects and topics around this FOSS in HIT.

The Technology Association of Oregon, in partnership with HiMSS Oregon, invite you to attend Portland’s first Ignite Health on Thursday September 19th.

Ignite Health is an assembly of 18 creative thinkers to present, in no more than 5 minutes, an idea that could change the face of health and wellness as we know it. Each presenter has 5 minutes and 20 slides to share their idea to the Portland community.


New HIPAA rules are effective in less than sixty days


The HITECH Act’s wide-ranging changes to HIPAA are effective in less than sixty days. Entities that routinely handle patient information – healthcare providers, health plans, and the vendors and contractors that service the healthcare industry – are subject to the enhanced HIPAA regulations and penalties beginning September 23, 2013. The following eight specific action items will help Covered Entities, Business Associates, and Business Associate “Subcontractors” prepare for the HIPAA – HITECH final countdown.

  1. Implement Security Rule Requirements. Business Associates are now directly subject to the HIPAA Security Rule. As a result, Business Associates must take specific actions to meet Security Rule obligations, including a risk assessment to identify risks/vulnerabilities and adoption of appropriate policies and procedures.
  2. Update Privacy Policies. The HITECH regulations add new restrictions on the use of patient information and expand patient rights to access that information, among other changes. Covered Entities and Business Associates must revise policies, procedures, and internal guidelines to address these changes to the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
  3. Identify Business Associates. The Final Rule expands and clarifies the definition of “Business Associate,” which encompasses the growing universe of vendors and contractors that service the healthcare industry and require access to patient information. Covered Entities must evaluate whether they do business with Business Associates, and if so, execute the required Business Associate Agreements.
  4. Identify Business Associate “Subcontractors”. Subcontractors that create, receive, maintain, or transmit protected health information on behalf of a business associate are now themselves “business associates” – even if the subcontractor does not have a direct relationship with the Covered Entity. Entities that perform any function involving patient information must evaluate whether they are such “business associates” – and if so, meet HIPAA’s requirements.
  5. Update Business Associate Agreements. The HITECH regulations require specific changes to Business Associate Agreements. In certain circumstances, these changes can be implemented after September 23, 2013; however, parties must comply with the new HITECH provisions regardless of whether the Business Associate Agreement has been updated. To avoid inconsistency between the new HITECH requirements and a Business Associate Agreement’s existing provisions, parties should consider revising their Business Associate Agreements at the earliest opportunity.
  6. Update Breach Notification Polices & Procedures. The HITECH Rule significantly alters the HIPAA Breach Notification requirements. Accordingly, Covered Entities and Business Associates should to update Breach Notification Policies and Procedures to address the new breach standards.
  7. Train Workforce on New Policies. Covered Entities and Business Associates must implement the new changes to their HIPAA Policies and Procedures. A key aspect of implementation is workforce training (employees, volunteers, and others who work under the direct control of the Covered Entity or Business Associate) on the requirements of the updated Policies and Procedures.
  8. Establish Vendor Management Program. The actions of a Business Associate can result in significant financial, operational, and reputational harm for a Covered Entity – from breaches to HIPAA investigations. Accordingly, Covered Entities should carefully consider vendor management when contracting with Business Associates. The same concept applies with regard to a Business Associate’s approach to Business Associate Subcontractors. Components of a successful vendor management program include close coordination between representatives from legal, risk management, privacy and information security, as organizations must analyze and understand the flow of, and access to, data. As part of the adoption of a vendor management program, organizations should consider adopting a governance model that addresses the release/access to data; appropriate due diligence measures; appropriate internal standards, and enforcement mechanisms and communication plans. Insistence on adherence to these policies and standards along with a robust program of review and oversight should be clearly communicated from the top down