Monday, September 1, 2008

VistA Tour Announcement

October 20, 2008, Peter Bodtke will begin the first phase of VistA Tour, traveling throughout Central America, to promote the awareness of the electronic healthcare information system VistA, the gold standard of electronic medical record. The second phase of VistA Tour, promoting VistA awareness in South America is slated for 2009. The project goal is to meet key health care policy makers, influencers and educators in each country. Over a period of 3 months, information on the benefits of adopting VistA will be presented, demonstrations of core system modules given to stakeholders interested in the adoption of VistA.

VistA is a health care information system developed by the US Veterans Health Administration to manage the health records of 8 million plus veterans at 1300 VA hospitals and facilities. 1.6 million patients are provided health care service in 600 Bureau of Indian Affairs healthcare sites supported using customized VistA code. VistA technology supports the delivery of healthcare to more patients than any other system.

The VistA system was initially developed 25 years ago. Continuous improvements have been integrated to make VistA the highest quality and most robust health care information system available worldwide. VistA was developed with United States taxpayer dollars and it "public domain" software. The system is available to adopters without licensing cost.

As commercial health care system vendors battle for adoption of "their" standard, Bodtke's message is that a proven system already exists and is available "now" without open ended development costs and no guarantee of sustainability. VistA has long been vetted and has a large community of vendors. Adopters will not be abandoned by a fledgling company.

  • VistA Tour (Phase I) begins October 20, 2008 (revised)
  • Distance to be traveled (Phase 1): 11,000 miles
  • Principal mode of transportation: motorcycle
  • VistA (Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture) originally developed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
  • Adopters of Vista: Veterans Health Administration, Indian Health Service, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
  • Tour Phase I (2008) countries & capitals to be visited: Mexico City, Mexico; Belize City, Belize; Guatemala City, Guatemala; San Salvador, El Salvador; Tegucigalpa, Honduras ; Managua, Nicaragua; San Jose, Costa Rica; Panama City, Panama
  • Tour Phase II (2009) Quito, Ecuador; Lima, Peru; La Paz, Bolivia; Santiago, Chile; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Montevideo, Uruguay; Asuncion, Paraguay; Brasilia, Brazil; Cayenne, French Guiana; Paramaribo, Suriname; Georgetown, Guyana; Caracas, Venezuela; Bogota, Colombia
VistA Tour's mission is to increase awareness of the health care information system called VistA, in Latin America. VistA (Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture) is the acclaimed health care information system originally developed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to support record-keeping functions and clinical-care management of veteran's health care. VistA is the most widely adopted health care information system used by government agencies and public or private health care organizations. There is growing adoption of VistA outside of the United States, Mexico and Jordan, are the primary examples. The time is right to advance the adoption of VistA in Latin America.

Quality - VistA sets the quality standard for health care information systems. Examples: virtually elimination of medication administration errors, improved health care delivery via "automated reminders", reduced duplication of laboratory test leads to operational savings, and alters of abnormal test results, potential drug-drug interactions and allergies make providers more effective and efficient.

Designed for Doctors, by Doctors and Programmers - The system was developed by doctors working one on one with programmers, without typical project management pressures. The development did not stop until the physician was satisfied with the results, regardless of schedule or cost. The system has received numerous awards and from the media and researchers, but most importantly enthusiastic adoption by health care professionals.

Major Implementations in the United States - Veterans Health Administration (VHA), is the largest, centrally directed healthcare system in the United States। The system powers veteran hospitals, outpatient clinics, and nursing homes. VistA is used in the 153-hospital, 731- clinic by the Veterans Affairs Department healthcare system. Indian Health Service (U.S.) leverages VistA core technology to provide comprehensive care to over 1.6 million American Indians / Alaska Natives, in 600 health care facilities.

Major International Implementations - Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (Mexican Government Social Security Healthcare System) adapted and integrated VistA for use in 60 hospitals throughout Mexico. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan currently in the project pilot phase of a national rollout of VistA as the country's health care information system. VistA is at its core open source technology that can be adapted to meet the local needs of any adopter.

Individual and Network Adopters – A spectrum of community hospitals and networks have adopted VistA based systems: Alaska Clinic, LLC, Clinica Adelante, Midland Memorial Hospital, Clint Spencer Clinic, German Heart Institute, Berlin and the University of Hawaii's Geriatric Clinics are single site or small networks implementations. Community Health Network of West Virginia (a state wide system), WHO's Collaborating Center on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, University of Nairobi School of Medicine, are examples of international deployments.

Adoption Costs - VistA is the most affordable health care information system solution available today. The development effort was paid for by United States citizens; it available at a fraction of the cost of commercially developed systems. No system can be implemented without cost. VistA can be deployed without expensive licensing fees.

Vendors, Consortium and Consultants - VistA is supported by an extensive list of vendors, consortium, and non-profit organizations: WorldvistA, Blue Cliff, Document Storage Systems, GCR & Associates, Fidelity National Information Servivces, Informatix Laboratories Corporation, InterSystems Corporation, Medsphere Systems Corporation, MELE, Pacific HUI, Perot Systems, Proxicom, SAIC, Sequence Mangers and Trenchant Technologies, and independent consultants.

BIOGRAPHY - Peter Bodtke
  • Vice President, WorldVistA, a charitable non-profit organization dedicated to advancing VistA adoption, provides open source licensed enhancements of the system and conducts technical training of VistA support personnel.
  • 12 years of experience in the information technology industry, Senior Business Analyst.
  • Master of Science in Information Management, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey
  • Resides in Maplewood, New Jersey, United States.
Tour Vista is actively seeking sponsorship to support this Latin American awareness project. Please contact Peter Bodtke for tour details and to discuss VistA Tour related sponsorship and marketing opportunities.

The list of contacts is growing each day. You are invited to forward contact information of individuals in Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama that would be interested in a demonstration of VistA during the tour. Email Peter Bodtke with your suggestions.