The 7th Annual OSEHRA Summit, to be held July 18-20 in Bethesda, MD, reflects a steady shift toward openness in information technology, particularly in healthcare. For the last six years, the Open Source Electronic Health Record Alliance (OSEHRA) has hosted annual summit conferences with themes centered on the development and implementation of open source solutions. This year’s theme is “The Open Road for Government Innovation.” So, what happened to “open source”? 

Dr. Seong K. Mun, President and CEO of OSEHRA shares insight into what inspired the change and how participants will benefit.

A funny thing happened on the open road. It has gotten a lot more crowded, both qualitatively and quantitatively. We designed this year’s Summit to reflect this evolution and to include a more diverse audience from Government and industry. The open source vision has progressed to embrace hybrid solutions, with proprietary solution providers committed to interoperability, and open source code being positioned to address critical gaps and interfaces. In the Electronic Health Record space, working models have been developed to feature open source and proprietary systems of record that communicate and share data. We are also seeing hybrid solutions emerging across a wide range of markets, fostering an unprecedented level of collaboration. Open source is thriving in this new environment.

One Example

One company leading the move to platform-based hybrid solutions is Perspecta Inc., this year’s Conference Sponsor. Officially launched on June 1, Perspecta was formed through a merger of the U.S. Public Sector Business of DXC Technology with Vencore Holding Corporation and KeyPoint Government Solutions. Perspecta, a unique and innovative Government services provider, helps customers in defense, intelligence, civilian, Healthcare, and state and local markets achieve their missions, transform to digital environments, and secure, modernize, and optimize their enterprises.

Mac Curtis, President and CEO of Perspecta said his company is proud to sponsor the 2018 OSEHRA Summit. “We’re here because we know that the work we do to advance public health and improve patient care is critical. We look forward to a productive and collaborative conference, and the opportunity to demonstrate our digital health platform.”

Conference Structure and Content

This year’s three-day Summit includes a combination of engaging track sessions, town-hall discussion, and Plenary events. The content will be exceptionally diverse, including:

  • a working interoperability platform demonstration drawing Healthcare data from multiple health record systems;
  • a demonstration of synthetic patient data generation, including the first public demonstration of tailored synthetic data being loaded into the open source VistA Electronic Health Record (EHR) via a new open source data loader;
  • a special working session on the Veterans Affairs Partnership to increase Access to Lung Screening, or VA-PALS (A high-profile software project to manage lung cancer screening within Veterans Affairs); and
  • more than thirty presentations on technical, clinical, and management topics of interest.
  •  We are also hosting a closing Town Hall Discussion and Lunch entitled “Open Source Collaboration – Does the License Really Matter.” It promises to be a spirited discussion of the future of the open source healthcare IT community!

Featured Speakers

Thursday’s Plenary Session includes a morning keynote by Ed Simcox, Acting Chief Technology Officer, HHS, and an afternoon keynote by MG Lee E. Payne, Assistant Director for Combat Support Agency, DHA. These two keynotes will be followed by speakers and panelists from agencies such CMS, IHS and VA.

The featured multi-agency panel will discuss the accomplishments and challenges associated with open source initiatives across Government. In addition to Government participants, key industry players such as Cognosante, Deloitte, DSS, DXC Technology, Intermountain Healthcare, InterSystems, and Unisys Federal will all be part of Thursday’s wide-ranging agenda.

Other Key Federal Health Speakers and Presenters

  • Rafael Richards, Director, Veteran Integrated Care Services, VA
  • Margo Kabel, User Experience Specialist, VHA
  • Anthony Puleo, Information Technology Specialist, VA
  • Nathaniel Allen, Program Specialist at Veterans Affairs Hospital, VA
  • Eric Spahn, PharmD, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, VHA
  • CAPT Mark Rives, Chief Information Officer and Director, OIT, IHS
  • Alexandra Mugge, Deputy Director, Division of Health IT, CMS
  • Jonathan Nebeker, MD, Deputy Chief Medical Informatics Officer, VA, VHA
  • Ken Rubin, Director Of Standards, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, VHA

Who Should Attend

The OSEHRA Summit has something for everyone. It will benefit anyone who wants to understand how open source operates and how it is impacting future system solutions, particularly in Healthcare. For Government employees, it will offer a view of open source initiatives across multiple agencies and an opportunity to network with front-line implementers (both Government and vendors).

Vendors will have the opportunity to exhibit and see a wide variety of initiatives at the Summit and interact with both prospective customers and teaming partners. IT professionals and Healthcare clinicians will benefit from a robust set of educational track sessions. Valuable networking opportunities like the Summit “Meet and Greet”, and Conference Reception will enhance educational and social interaction.

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