Misys Makes Good on Open-Source Promise

Misys has released the code for its Misys Connect software to open-source developers, making good on a promise the company made in October 2007.

Misys Healthcare Systems released code for its Misys Connect EMR interoperability software to the open-source community Feb. 8, ending months of industry speculation about whether the company would make good on its promise to commit to open source.

Misys Connect is a Web-based clinical data viewer that shares patient information across any infrastructure, regardless of vendor, allowing caregivers at any facility quick access to a patient's medical history. The code was released to open-source developers during SCALE (the Southern California Linux Expo) held from Feb. 8-10 in Los Angeles.

In October 2007, Misys CEO Mike Lawrie said the company would release code for Misys Connect by the end of February 2008 to drive the adoption of EMR open interoperability standards among health care facilities.

"We're looking to link one vendor's EMR to other vendors' EMRs. We're trying to introduce collaboration into a traditionally proprietary industry," said Tim Elwell, Misys vice president of open-source initiatives for health care.

Currently, sharing of patient information is a mostly paper-based process that can delay treatment and increase costs and errors, especially in an emergency situation. Elwell said automating the process and using open standards for interoperability can improve patient care by making available a much richer, more complete information set.

Elwell, formerly national sales director for IBM Global Services, was appointed in November to head up the open-source initiative. Prior to working with IBM, Elwell held positions at Raytel, a small medical informatics company, and was deputy director of Columbia University's Center for Advanced Technology.

Misys's move toward open source will deprive the company of between 15 and 16 percent of initial license fee revenues that formerly came from the software, Elwell said, but the company will focus on services and support surrounding the open-source offerings to generate revenues.