The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) engaged Sujansky & Associates to conduct an independent evaluation of the VistA-Office EHR system at ten beta test sites. VistA-Office EHR (VOE) is an ambulatory EHR system that CMS developed in 2005 based on the Veterans Health Administration's VistA clinical information system. As an open-source application, VOE is available license-free and may offer a low-cost alternative for small physician practices seeking an EHR.
In this project, Sujansky & Associates assessed whether VOE is ready for widespread use as an EHR in the private sector. Specifically:
- Is VOE generally suitable for use as an electronic health record in small private practices and community clinics?
- Does VOE deliver the envisioned benefits of an EHR?
- What are the "success factors" for the initial implementation and sustained clinical use of VOE in small physician practices?
- What are the overall financial costs to a practice of implementing and operating VOE?
- Can the public-private model envisioned by CMS effectively distribute and support VOE?
The evaluation entailed a detailed assessment of the VOE technology and the experiences of the practice sites and vendors involved in the beta test. The deliverables included a narrative report, a database of formal survey responses, and several presentations to CMS and other stakeholders.
An Evaluation of VistA-Office EHR in the Small Practice Setting: Functional Performance, Economic Costs, and Implementation/Support Processes (Final Report) (PDF)
The evaluation involved 10 clinical sites ranging from solo practitioners to hospital-based clinics. Represented specialties included internal medicine, family practice, ob/gyn, nephrology, and ophthalmology
Sujansky & Associates developed 10 survey instruments that included 250 questions covering 30
Surveys were administered via structured telephone interviews to maximize the clarity and accuracy
The project was delivered on time and on budget