Photo: GOSCON Director Deb Bryant

The Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON 2008) opening Oct. 20, in Portland, Ore., will feature an Open Public Health IT track to explore both a strategic direction for open source in the public health sector as well as real-world applications that are in use today by agencies around the world. GOSCON, said Director Deb Bryant, is bringing together thought leaders in government, open source industry, and public health who will share their deep, practical experience in public health, enterprise architectures, standards, as well as open source tools and methodologies as they are applied to this domain

An award-winning application developed by the Health Service Executive in Ireland (HSE) to support health service planning, epidemiology and environmental incident management will be presented, as will TriSano an open source citizen-focused disease surveillance application developed as a collaborative project with Collaborative Software Initiative and the State of Utah. In addition, lessons learned in transitioning from proprietary software to OpenELIS, an open enterprise laboratory information system, will be presented. "We're excited about the promise that macro trends like open source offer to Oregon's health and human services delivery systems," says Rick Howard, CIO for the Oregon Department of Human Services. "We're currently looking for the best approach to the challenges of customizing and supporting open source. GOSCON helps us find solutions."

"Exciting developments are taking place in public health IT worldwide," said Bryant. "The growing use of open source in public health IT projects and application development is one of the most important trends we've seen in the last five years. With increased economic pressures and an aging population, governments and vendors are collaborating in new ways. This is transformational technology and a fresh approach to public-private partnerships that serve the public well."

The GOSCON Open Public Health IT track features an executive panel that will discuss the potential implications of current initiatives around the Medicaid Information Technology Architecture (MITA) as well as frameworks for interoperability, funding models, data sharing and privacy. Rick Howard (CIO, Oregon Department of Human Services), Bernard Golden (CEO, Navica), and Kathleen Connor (Principal Program Manager, Health Solutions Group, Microsoft Corp.) will participate.


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