Vista—‘best of the breed’
I’ve been a user of the VA software, starting with the FileManager and DHCP in the early 1980s, right up to the latest version of VistA and CPRS. I’ve supported its use in a large mental-health institution, a community hospital and in small clinics.
I have encountered the most bizarre antipathy toward VistA and MUMPS from supposed IT professionals who did not even know what they can do—it was not “modern” and not “object-oriented” and not “relational.” But as Joseph Conn said in his IT Everything blog (“The right and wrong decision,” Feb. 12, Modern Healthcare.com), it is probably the best of the breed—the only one that can come near it is Epic, which costs a fortune and is closed to users so that they cannot customize to suit their needs.
Was I surprised to hear that the Defense Department wouldn’t just adopt and adapt VistA? Good grief, no. How could they then spend more billions of our tax dollars on very profitable (for the commercial vendors) systems that would need to be scrapped and replaced (again profitably) within a short time? It just would not do.
I know most of those folks cited at the end of Joe’s article, and I agree that if they were turned loose with some decent funding and support, VistA would emerge even better and stronger and the taxpayers would have gotten our money’s worth. Dr. Martin Mendelson
Chambesy Geneva, Switzerland