Stuff that Matters — Open Source in Healthcare

6127243966_0de6283cd8_o-2INF 496 — Special Topics Course in Informatics, (class#0010)

Open Source in Healthcare: Stuff that Matters

This class is a 1 credit 8 week course, starting 3/13/2014 and occurring on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 2:45-4:05pm in Business Administration 222.

This course will focus on current open source trends in Healthcare. Specifically students will be introduced to VistA, which is the most comprehensive Electronic Health Records (EHR) system in the world, and related concepts.

Why should you care about that? Because there is an increase in the demand for people who are familiar with these concepts. This is real and relevant training for a future position in Healthcare.

The US spends 18% of its GDP in Healthcare. This is close to 2.8 Trillion dollars a year, making of healthcare one of the largest activity sectors in the economy. Until 2004 less than 20% of the 5,700 hospitals in the US were using computerized medical records. The large majority of institutions were keeping medical records on physical paper. After $20 billion of stimulus funding provided by the Federal government, the proportion of adoption has now increased to close 50%.

In this class, we will introduce VistA, the most comprehensive Electronic Health Records (EHR) system in the world. VistA was developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and it is freely available as open source software. VistA is deployed universally across the VA at more than 1,500 sites of care, including 153 hospitals, 765 outpatient clinics and nearly 300 VA Vet Centers. It serves 7.84 million patients.

VistA is written in MUMPS, a language with a built-in NoSQL database that used by the largest EHR systems, both proprietary and open source ones. VistA is currently being deployed in State hospitals in New York and North Carolina, as well as private hospitals in California and Tennessee. It is also being considered for deployment in the UK.

In this class we will cover basic MUMPS programming, principles of electronic health records systems, basic VistA management, and modern web-based interfaces to VistA suitable for mobile devices. No preliminary knowledge of VistA or MUMPS is required.

Image via Images Money [link to].


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