NOSH ChartingSystem

A new open source health charting system for doctors.


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Uncovering the myth about health care technology…

Here is an article from Dr. Marvin Malek, an internal medical physician in Vermont.  He does a great job encapsulating the history behind health information technology in the United States and the consequences the HITECH act has had on the electronic health records landscape.  It rightly points out that one of the intended consequences of  that act was to create a niche market for software developers to target medical practices.  But instead of a unified system where each system can talk to each other and having a user-interface that is easy to use, and error-prone, we get a glut of inferior products.  Costly products that don’t talk to each, doctors generally hate using them, and some take the data as hostages.  I would also argue that these software developer’s assumptions that medical practices are “gold mines” and that doctors are generally uneducated or at best ignorant of the existing technologies make these doctors and practices as ripe victims for being, to put it bluntly, ripped-off.

For me, I saw it coming when I started my medical school education way back in 1996 and I saw its eventual reality in 2004 when the HITECH act was passed; and now I’m seeing the chickens home to roost right now as this 2014 “deadline” of getting everyone on an electronic health record.  Oh…and how is the adoption rates for electronic health records by medical practices these days?  Later in my next post.


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The Manifesto and The Mission

The mission of the NOSH ChartingSystem  project is to provide a low cost, user-friendly, and robust electronic medical record system for all medical practitioners.

LOW-COST:  Low-cost means low cost of installation, low cost of ownership, and low cost of maintenance.  The system, at its very core foundation is that it is an open-source project.  In layman’s terms, anyone can use the project and modify it to their hear’ts content.  The only thing we expect back is that any modifications remain open for every other practitioner to share.  Nothing in the project’s code is proprietary as it is derived from other open-source tools and projects.  It’s our way of paying it forward.  In our future postings, we’ll give some examples of how this is a low-cost alternative to all of the other proprietary electronic medical record systems.

USER-FRIENDLY:  Every design aspect of the project has the medical practitioner user in mind.  Of course, having a real-practicing family physician coding and designing the initial, core project considerably helps.  Minimizing clutter and having useful, relevant information of a patient at a mouse click (or hover) away lets physicians actually focus on providing good medical care instead of a poorly-designed system that dictates what a physician should do with their patients.

ROBUST:  Ensuring that this project remains open-source, this project is committed to developing a community of programmers and physicians who care passionately about maintaining the core mission.  We aim for this community to start locally and develop globally.  Any additions and modifications to the project can be shared without the burden of copyrights,  intellectual property, and cost constraints.  This translates into creating a vibrant user-community and ultimately, a vibrant, future-proof product for all medical practitioners.

ALL PHYSICIANS:  The heart of this community comes from all medical practitioners, whether you are a pediatric neurosurgeon, family physician, chiropractor, therapist, acupucturist…you name it!  It doesn’t matter if you are a rural, primary care physician struggling to make ends meet or a orthopedic surgeon with a six-figure salary.  Unshackle the restraints imposed by the myriads of expensive, proprietary electronic medical record systems that only promise productivity, but rarely deliver.  Why wait for the monetary incentives to come when you can use this system (without ads and keeping your data) at a low cost right now?   The power is yours, where it belongs!