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15th VistA Community Meeting

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  • community meeting
When Jun 15, 2007 09:30 AM to
Jun 17, 2007 05:00 PM
Where Health Science Building,University of Washington, Seattle Washington
Contact Name K.S. Bhaskar
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The goal of VistA Community Meetings is to allow those involved in the VistA Community to network & collaborate, i.e., to share ideas and work, with the objective of moving VistA & the VistA community forward.  VistA Community Meetings are highly interactive, hands-on, working meetings.  Please come prepared to contribute as well as to learn.

Compared to most meetings, VistA Community Meetings are relatively unstructured.  The agenda is always a draft agenda, because the attendees are free to change it – even during the meeting – in order to better meet their objectives.

VistA Community Meetings were originally almost exclusively technical meetings.  Over time, the balance has shifted, so that although there is still a strong technical focus, there are increasingly discussions on other aspects, including implementation, support, demonstration, education, training, and WorldVistA organizational issues (e.g., membership).

Please come prepared to discuss your interest in and work with VistA.  If you wish to present material, please come prepared with your presentation, either electronic or a poster.  There will be ample opportunities to present your work to others who are interested.

To send suggested changes to this agenda, please e-mail K.S. Bhaskar (bhaskar at bhaskars dot com).  Also, if you have actually implemented VistA in your organization, please contact K.S. Bhaskar as soon as possible.

Location, Facilities

The 15th VistA Community Meeting is scheduled to take place at the University of Washington, Seattle, June 15-17, 2007 (see for a map and directions).

WorldVistA expresses its gratitude to the University of Washington to make this meeting possible, and in particular to Arden Forrey and Gretchen Murphy of UW.


Parking lot S1 (on Columbia Road, behind the Health Science Center) is suggested.  There is a fee to park on Friday and till noon on Saturday.  From noon Saturday through Sunday, it is free.

Thanks to Arden for the following: From S-1 enter the building between the F and D wings on the 2nd floor door next to E and F wings and proceed straight ahead to the T wing turning left a short distance to the elevator on the left. Proceed to the 6th Floor and upon exit go straight ahead to T-635 where registration will take place. From the main campus north of E Pacific St. use the ground (2nd) floor T wing west entrance and then follow the main T wing hall to the elevator to the 6th floor.  The initial lectures on 15 June will be one floor up in T-733 but on the weekend Sat/Sun they will be in T-639 at the registration location. One breakout room (T-663) is just down the hall and the other two are one floor below in T-530, T-531 adjacent to the D wing intersection with the T wing hall.


Non-members $300.  Click here for non-member registration.
(Note: non-member registration includes a 1-year membership.)

WorldVistA Members $200.  Members will receive an email with a link to members' registration.  If you do not receive the email by May 14, contact

Thanks to an anonymous benefactor, we are able to waive the registration fees for a small number of WorldVistA members for whom the cost would be a hardship.  To request a waiver, please send an email to both Maury Pepper (mpepper at ieee dot org) and K.S. Bhaskar (bhaskar at bhaskars dot com) explaining how you would benefit from attending and what you could contribute to the VistA community.  We will respond within 24 hours.  You will be required to become a member if you are not one already.

Meeting Organization

Note: If you would like to make a presentation please contact bhaskar at bhaskars dot com as soon as possible.

There are many areas of discussion for those interested in VistA, some of general interest and some specialized.  To accommodate the maximum number of needs, VistA Community Meetings have some plenary sessions of general interest and multiple tracks that provide more focus.  Also, about 50% of the conference time is unscheduled to facilitate collaboration and impromptu presentations and discussion.

Tracks for VistA Community Meetings are ultimately decided by the attendees, their interests and their ability to present.  The following are the current tracks for the 15th VistA Community meeting (please contact bhaskar at bhaskars dot com to provide feedback and discuss the tracks):
  • Special track: Migrant and Community Health Centers - Coordinated by John Leo Zimmer & Matt King

    • The free / open source business model and Community Health Centers; free as in libré vs. free as in gratis; licensed software vs. public domain software.

    • Using WorldVistA EHRTM for patient care, Q+A about using WorldVistA EHR.

    • Implementing a CCHIT certified, high quality electronic health record system at a significantly lower cost independent of a practice management system.

    • WorldVistA EHR and software from the Indian Health Service - expmmerience from the Arizona and West Virginia free / open source software projects.

    • Getting grants.

    • Finding a mentor for ongoing collaboration.

  • Technical - Coordinated by Dave Whitten & Larry Landis
  • VistA Installation & Configuration - Coordinated by Nancy Anthracite & K.S. Bhaskar
    • If you come with a laptop or PC, you will be able to leave with a free / open source VistA software stack running on it.  This stack is based on Linux:
      • In the event you want Linux installed on your hard drive, you will be able to do this at the meeting.  If you are running a version of Microsoft Windows, please defragment your hard drive before you come to Seattle and ensure that you have at least 5GB free.  The installation process will create a new partition from the free space and configure your PC to dual boot.  If you plan to do this, back up your PC before you come to Seattle - although the installation is generally safe, we don't want your PC to be the statistical exception.
      • If you do not have or wish Linux installed, please bring your laptop and a 2GB USB flash drive - you will be able to run a free / open source VistA stack without touching your machine's hard drive.  This option is also available to Macintosh users.
      • A VistA software appliance can also be installed to the hard drive of a Windows XP PC.  Please ensure you have 2GB free.
  • WorldVistA Organization - Coordinated by Joseph Dal Molin & Maury Pepper
    • Update to members
    • Categories and benefits
    • Software availability and policies
  • Other tracks depending on interest.

Meeting Rooms

Meetings rooms are in the Magnuson Health Science Building.  There are four rooms, T-733 (Friday, June 15) / T-639 (Saturday, June 16 & Sunday, June 17), T-531, T-635, and T-663.

WiFi is expected to be available in all rooms, as are projectors and flip charts.


Silver Cloud Inn: 800.205.6940.  (WorldVistA group rates are reported as no longer being available.)

Hotel Deca: 800-899-0251.  (WorldVistA group rates are reported as no longer being available.)


Friday, June 15, 2007

0800Arrive; network; pick up registration tags (Room T-733)

  • Welcome to the University of Washington by Gretchen Murphy (Room T-733)
    UW interest in electronic health records by Dr. Tom Payne
(Since Dr. Payne needs to leave for another appointment, we will start promptly at 0900.)
  • Conference overview and logistics by K.S. Bhaskar (Room T-733)

Overview of WorldVistA EHRTM & Summary of plans for continuing sustainability of WorldVistA EHR by Joseph Dal Molin (Room T-733)
1030Break - refreshments provided

Introductions (Room T-733)
Since networking and collaboration are the most important goals of VistA Community Meetings, an important activity at VistA Community Meetings is for all attendees to introduce themselves.  Take 60 seconds to tell the group:
  • Who you are and what organization(s) you are associated with.
  • What your interest in VistA is.
  • What would make the meeting a success for you.
Lunch - provided

The VistA Toaster: Demonstrating VistA with a Software Appliance by Peter Bodtke, Ben Mehling, K.S. Bhaskar (Room T-733)
WorldVistA 2006 Report to Members by K.S. Bhaskar (Room T-733)
Review & Finalization of Tracks (Room T-733)
Break - refreshments provided

  • Community Health Clinic Track (Room T-663)
    Panel Discussion VistA, FOSS and Community Health Clinics
    Panelists Matt King, Vivian Kost, Howard Hays, John Zimmer, Kathy Doub-English
  • VistA Installations & Configuration (Room T-635)
  • Technical Track (Room T-530)
    • 1515-1600 The Past, Present, and Future of Standard MUMPS by Art Smith, Rick Marshall
    • 1600-1645 Beginning MUMPS by Tom Ackerman
  • Technical Track Overflow (Room T733)
    • 1515-1600 Finding VistA information Online Kirt Walker
    • 1600-1645 Editting and Debugging MUMPS with VistA and the Eclipse IDE  by Joel Ivey

Regroup (Room T-733)
  • Coordinators of tracks to report on progress of and plans for each track.
  • Feedback to organizers - what needs improvement.
Break for the day - dinner on your own

Saturday, June 16


  • WorldVistA Member Web Site by Ignacio Valdes (T-639)
    (Everyone, please plan to attend this session so that the WorldVistA member web site maintains some semblance of structure and consistency as the number of members increases!)
      • Introduction to Plone and the member web site
      • How to maintain your own content
      • Ground rules
      • Demonstrations
1030Break - refreshment provided

  • Community Health Clinic Track (Room T-663)
    • 1045-1130 Presentation by Howard Hays
    • 1130-1215 Presentation by Johanna Barraza Cannon
  • VistA Installations & Configuration (Room T-635)
  • Technical Track (Room T-531)
    • 1045-1130 Software Development using KIDS David Whitten
    • 1130-1215 Begining FileMan Tom Ackerman
  • Other (Room T-639)
1215Lunch - provided

  • WorldVistA subscription based services by Joseph Dal Molin et al (Room T-639)
    • Subscription based services provided by WorldVistA
    • Levels of service & pricing
    • Ground rules for staying certified
  • VistA Installations & Configuration (Room T-635)
  • Technical Track (Room 531)
    • 1330-1415 MUMPS System Management Gus Landis
    • 1415-1500 M2Web Kirt Walker
  • Technical Track Overflow (Room 663)
    • 1330-1415 Intermediate FileMan Tom Ackerman
    • 1415-1500 Test Driven Program Development Joel Ivey
1500Break - refreshment provided

  • Community Health Clinic Track (Room T-663)
    • 1515-1600 Case study: West Virginia and MedLynks
    • 1600-1645 Using VistA for Research by Joseph Glass
      • Potential that Vista has for conducting research
      • Methods used to harvest and collect data using VistA
      • Examples of studies that have used VistA
  • VistA Installations & Configuration (Room T-635)
  • Technical Track (Room 531)
    • 1515-1600 Patching: A Strategic Overview for VistA Adopters by Rick Marshall, Owen Hermsen
    • 1600-1645 Sustainability: The VistA Culture Strategy by Rick Marshall, Chris Richardson
  • Other (Room T-639)
    • Meeting for VistA related organizations - all organizations (commercial and non-profit) that are interested in providing services related to VistA are invited to attend a meeting to discuss & brainstorm collaboration and cooperation.

Regroup (Room T-639)
  • Coordinators of tracks to report on progress of and plans for each track.
  • Feedback to organizers - what needs improvement.
1700Break for the day - dinner on your own

Sunday, June 17


The Best Care Anywhere by Phillip Longman, (Room T-639)
  • Summary of findings on care provided by the VA
  • Lessons learned from VistA - value to the VA and to the community
  • Parallels between the VistA development culture within the VA and a FOSS software community
  • After electronic medical records, what next?
Break - refreshments provided

  • Community Health Clinic Track (Room T-663)
    • 1045-1130 Case study - Clinica Adelante by Matthew King
    • 1130-1215 PECS and WorldVistA Office EHR by Joseph Puthooran
  • VistA Installations & Configuration (Room T-635)
  • Technical Track (Room T-531)
    • Advanced FileMan by Tom Ackerman
    • Intermediate MUMPS by Gus Landis
  • Technical Track Overflow (Room T-639)
    • VistA Architecture & Semantic Web Futures by David Whitten, Rick Marshall
1215Lunch - provided

  • Community Health Clinic Track (Room T-663)
  • VistA Installations & Configuration (Room T-635)
  • Technical Track (Room T-531)
    • 1330-1415 Advanced MUMPS: Programming with Style and Discipline by Rick Marshall, Art Smith
    • 1415-1500 Paideia: Training the Next Generation by Rick Marshall, Owen Hermsen
  • Other (Room T-639)
1500Break - refreshments provided

Closing session (Room T-639)
  • Summary of tracks by Coordinators
  • Follow up action items
  • Feedback to organizers on conference