Veterans groups and open-source software supporters have responded with anger to Microsoft's decision to give the latest version of the Windows operating system the name Vista. The name, as most people in healthcare know, just happens to be the same as that of the open-source EHR developed by doctors and programmers at the Veterans Affairs administration and in use at hospitals throughout the agency for more than 20 years. The VistA software alliance and WorldVistA, two NGOs involved in the promotion of the software, say Microsoft's decision may lead to confusion and is "an insult to veterans."
Further complicating matters is the government's announcement that it will market the VistA EHR to physicians around the country, a situation which theoretically sets up a showdown between the US and Microsoft over the commercial rights to the name. Does that mean that the government may be suing Microsoft again in the near future? Probably not, analysts say, because the government rarely takes legal action to protect its trademarks, as they are, after all, taxpayer owned.
- see this press release from the VistA Software Alliance
PLUS: Skepticism on VistA EHR from InformationWeek. "It would require doctors to change their practices and perhaps even their culture." Story