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LinuxNews.com: FreePM Brings Open Source Team Spirit to Health Care Solutions

Aug 18, 2000, 14:57 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michelle Head)

[ Thanks to mhead for this link. ]

"Teamwork, interoperability and peer review, integral to the Open Source development method, may make Open Source projects invaluable to another field that values those qualities--health care."

"The brainchild of a former health care IT professional, the Free Practice Management (FreePM) project is an attempt to tackle an old problem--one of health care information management--with an Open Source solution. FreePM is still under development and not quite ready for use, but its founder already has high hopes for its eventual success in bringing Open Source interoperability to the diverse microcosms (i.e. pharmacy, radiology, and laboratory systems, physician's databases, etc.) that comprise the sum of a modern health care facility."

"Tim Cook, the lead (and at the moment, only) project coordinator, describes the difficulty in working with proprietary practice management software. "Well, while working in the health care IT field, I saw the abuses that hospitals and physicians' offices were taking from closed source vendors of health care software. I don't just mean the outrageous pricing of licenses and per-incident tech support. Too often a sales person is the first person sent to a site to address problems that everyone knows are really tech support issues," Cook says. "Their job, I presume, is to take notes and sell more and `better?' support options. Closed source vendors know that they have a captive audience. Once the sale is made it is too expensive, both in money and in the CIO's [chief information officer's] reputation, to change vendors."

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