Open Source EHR Katrina Relief Network
A few weeks ago Jordan Glogau did a call to action podcast on the Healthcare IT blog. Since that time, Jordan and I have been talking about what we could do to help. We are not the only ones; this has been the source of contant discussion on the Hardhats weekly calls, and mailing list. Now, Jordan and I are teaming up to try and do more, and we need your help.
We have decided to create a network of technologists who can help clinics or hospitals in katrina affected areas to re-implement destroyed EHRs. The goal is to get at least hospital and practice management systems in place so that clinics can begin tracking patients and successfully submitting insurance claims for those who need medical care. Essentially we are going to try and help the helpers. We will only be using Free and Open Source medical software, so that we will be able to perform these emergency installations without payment. Using GPL software will prevent clinics from shouldering immediate costs, or getting sucked into vendor lock-in by accepting help from a proprietary software company. The game plan is simple, if you are a large medical institution (hospital) then we will try to get you in contact with a VistA expert. If you are smaller than that then we will try to get you in touch with a ClearHealth expert. (If we have volunteers from other FOSS medical projects, then the software might vary but the licenses will remain the same: GPL)
If you are a techlogist who is familar with either the Linux-Apache-Mysql-PHP stack or familiar with Mumps and VistA, then you can help us! We need to have people who are available to perform remote installations of either ClearHealth or VistA. You should have enough spare time to see an installation through from start to finish. (Hopefully less than a week). If you have these skill sets and are interested in helping contact us.
If you are a technologist who lives in the Katrina effected areas, or who is willing to travel there to help and you are interested in being the guy on the ground then please contact us. You should have some *nix experience but we should be able to find subject matter experts who can help you remotely with the installation of VistA or ClearHealth. You will hopefully be focused on hardware issues.
If you are an effected clinic or hospital and would like to have our volunteer network install an EHR system for you, please contact us.
If you represent a company or organization who is willing to donate hardware or expertise please contact us So far several major computer companies have come forward to help VistA volunteers with this... more on that later!
Obviously there will either be more people who are willing to help then there are clinics that need help, or more clinics that need help then willing helpers. So this cannot go perfectly, but please be patient with us and we will see what we can do.