"As longer-term readers know, this newsletter has praised the
VA's efforts with open-source EMR VistA since we first got
"VistA is, in short, a remarkable accomplishment that performs
better than virtually every commercial installation available.
Every office visit, prescription, and medical procedure is recorded
in VistA's database, allowing doctors and nurses to update
themselves on a patient's status with just a few keystrokes. In
1995, patient records at VA hospitals were available at the time of
a clinical encounter only 60 percent of the time. Today it is 100
percent. Some 96 percent of all prescriptions and medical orders,
such as lab tests, are now entered electronically. The national
comparison is more like 8 percent..."