Officials with the West Virginia bureau of behavior health and health facilities are putting some finishing touches on VistA installations cutting across the state, adding computerized laboratory information to a six-year-old implementation.
West Virginia officials have implemented Vista in seven communities, Modern Healthcare reports. Facilities include an acute-care hospital, two psychiatric hospitals, four long-term care hospitals, a nursing home and two ambulatory care clinics. The facilities are all connected to a central database in Charleston via T1 lines.
The state has been working on contract with Medsphere Systems Corp. to install a VistA version known as FOIA VistA, a version in the public domain that can be obtained freely from the VA under the Freedom of Information Act, Modern Healthcare notes.
Though VistA itself is free, the state has spent heavily on installing it across the seven sites. Since FY 2005, West Virginia has paid Medsphere $8.4 million for system implementation, development and support, and is contracted to pay the vendor $939,800 this year for support.
In addition to paying Medsphere a monthly fee for systems support, the state pays licensing fees to InterSystems, developer of Cache, a version of the MUMPS database and programming language. It also licenses Keane’s financial system, which interfaces with VistA.
West Virginia began looking at a common infrastructure for all of its facilities when HIPAA passed back in 1996, noting that the idea behind it was portability and accountability. Now state officials are glad they moved ahead. “It’s expensive,” but “in terms of satisfaction, I think we’d all agree it was well worth it,” deputy commissioner for administration Craig Richards told the magazine.