Open Source getting more notice as part of stimulus package

Mar 30th, 2009 Posted in Health Care IT | No Comments »

Another article on the Stimulus package cites the novel use of the term Open Source being used to describe types of health information systems that should be investigated and evaluated. Others are starting to be intrigued by possible cost savings and customizability possibilities. Of course, I’m preaching to the choir here.

Dubious moments in EHR design and contracting

Mar 26th, 2009 Posted in Health Care IT | 1 Comment »

Physicians who are writing about their encounters with health IT systems have made some interesting observations on interface design problems in some of the proprietary systems out there.

Just scroll down to see some of the interface examples here. And people feel safer about a proprietary product vs an open source (like the VHA’s VistA) product? I’ll leave it to the interface designers here to post their critiques.

Just another aside, check out the “hold harmless clause” being foisted on potential purchasers of proprietary EHRs. Looks like the Docs are going to have to add another 6 months to their medical residencies so they can learn debugging methodologies.

More LinuxChixLA Pics from SCALE 7x!

Mar 25th, 2009 Posted in And You Did What? Where?, Tux for Fun | 1 Comment »

More LinuxChixLA Pics from SCALE 7x!

Ada Lovelace, Tasmanian Devils, and SysAdmining

Mar 24th, 2009 Posted in And You Did What? Where?, System Administration | 4 Comments »



What’s the connection? On behalf of Ada Lovelace Day LinuxChix Los Angeles is highlighting Terri Haber’s in-the-trenches-sysadmin presentation at in Hobert, Tasmania. And Terri brought back a Tuz from! And what’s a Tuz? In addition to being the mascot for, Linus Torvald is replacing Tux with Tuz for the Linux kernel release 2.6.29 to highlight the plight of the endangered Tasmanian Devils whose population is plummeting in the wild due to a contagious facial tumor disease.

Terri, Tuz, Linus, and Bdale at

Terri, Tuz, Linus, and Bdale at

And yes, that is Terri watching Linus save shave the 27 year-old-beard of Bdale Garbee to benefit Save the Tasmanian Devil foundation. (Complete slide show of the shave.)

Now back to LinuxChix Los Angeles and our contribution to Ada Lovelace Day. Ada Lovelace Day is all about highlighting the contributions of women in technology. So why Terri? Because Terri did a most difficult thing, she contributed. Contributing is hard, being visible is hard, and Terri was visibly contributing when she shared what she knew at And in her contribution, Terri advanced women’s visibility in technology. So thanks Terri, thanks for visibly contributing.

The Muddled EHR landscape

Mar 9th, 2009 Posted in Health Care IT | 3 Comments »

There is a good roundup of issues confronting/thwarting attempts to have Open Source, interoperable, etc. Electronic Health Records over at LinuxMedNews today. Where, oh where,  will that $19 billion dollars go?

OF EHRs, Beta Testing and Informed Consent

Mar 6th, 2009 Posted in Health Care IT | No Comments »

There has been some discussion as to whether or not Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are “medical devices” and as such should be regulated. Recently there was an excellent posting at LINUXMEDNEWS tackling the issue of informed consent for patients subjected to being beta testers for proprietary EHRs and clinical HIT devices.

The article does provoke some thought on why healthcare IT is a somewhat different animal from Management Information Systems for business. Should you have the right to know what the bug ratings look like for an EHR the same way you expect a list of potential side effects for medications and clinical procedures? The phenomenon of  “E-Iatrogenesis” has been coined at JAMIA to indicate unintended consequences of using an EHR. If paper is also used for clinical decision making, should the patient also be made aware of potential drawbacks of using that medium as well?

The Stimulus Bill vs HIMSS

Mar 5th, 2009 Posted in Health Care IT | No Comments »

Among other things I’m testing whether I can finally post or not so this will be brief.

There has been quite a bit of excitement concerning the Stimulus bill and healthcare IT development. However, not all health information management entities would appear in favor of Open Source software in Healthcare. Check out the HIMSS electronic health record association corporate membership guidelines. Hint, read the second sentence under “Background” very carefully.