Senator Calls for Open Source EMR

Posted on April 29, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I love when senators come out and write bills requesting for the government to fund an open source EMR. Turns out the most recent request came from Senator John D. Rockefeller has proposed a new law which would establish federal grants to develop open source software and standards for electronic medical records. You can read more about it on ars technica.

I have to admit that I strongly support the concept of open source EMR and really open source software in general. I just don’t know why government thinks that government grants would really help open source software. I could be wrong, but has there ever been a significant open source software project that was grant funded by the government? It just generally seems contrary to the open source development model.

I guess I just wonder how a senator gets it in his mind to write a proposal for open source EMR grants. Did an open source project request for him to do it? Where did the senator get this idea that it was a good idea to have an open source EMR? Did he consult the existing EMR projects to see if this is something that they would find beneficial to the cause?

Maybe he in fact did do all of these things, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Senator Rockefeller knows little about open source software and in particular the challenges that open source EMR software is currently facing.