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International

Mexico adopts modified version of Veterans Affairs’ VistA

Mexico has installed a Spanish-language version of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs-developed VistA information system in 21 government-owned hospitals.

A delegation from Mexico in 2004 met with VA officials, including Peter Groen, a technology specialist and retired VA employee, to discuss installing VistA at the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, a government agency that operates 263 hospitals and more than 4,000 clinics.

IMSS by May 2005 had implemented VistA’s ADT (admission, discharge and transfer) and CPRS (computerized patient record system) modules at 12 hospitals, and since then, it has installed the system at nine additional clinics. IMSS programmers also translated VistA into Spanish and modified it to fit the agency’s needs.

Several Mexican companies likely will work with U.S.-based vendor consortium VistA Software Alliance to sell the system in South America. The VA does not promote or sell VistA, but the code is public domain, so several countries, including Egypt, Nigeria, Germany and Jordan, have installed VistA-based IT systems.

The VA does not plan to integrate any advances to VistA made in Mexico or other countries, but it might include some outside work into HealtheVet, which is VistA’s replacement system that currently is being deployed, according to Robert Kolodner, chief health informatics officer at the Veterans Health Administration who has worked on VistA and its predecessors.

 

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