“We claim that open source licensing in health care information systems is essential to rational procurement strategy.”

This excellent article from the UK outlines how open source licensing “promotes safer, more effective health care information systems and is essential to rational procurement strategy.”


Open Source, Open Standards, and Health Care Information Systems
Carl J Reynolds1, BSC(Hons) MB BS; Jeremy C Wyatt2, MB BS DM FRCP
J Med Internet Res 2011;13(1):e24

1Centre for Health Informatics and Multiprofessional Education, UCL Medical School, London, United Kingdom
2Institute for Digital Health care, International Digital Laboratory, Warwick University, Coventry, United Kingdom
Corresponding Author: Carl J Reynolds, BSC(Hons) MB BS

Recognition of the improvements in patient safety, quality of patient care, and efficiency that health care information systems have the potential to bring has led to significant investment. Globally the sale of health care information systems now represents a multibillion dollar industry. As policy makers, health care professionals, and patients, we have a responsibility to maximize the return on this investment. To this end we analyze alternative licensing and software development models, as well as the role of standards. We describe how licensing affects development. We argue for the superiority of open source licensing to promote safer, more effective health care information systems. We claim that open source licensing in health care information systems is essential to rational procurement strategy.

Old notices

2013: The Montreal Oscar User Group meets every month on the 3rd Thursday.
More details at: http://oscar-quebec.com/?p=59

Nov 7-9, 2013: FMF Conference in Vancouver, BC


Oscar at Queens wins an award from the Association of Family Health Teams.
Award Winner – Queen’s Family Health Team

August 2013 Article in Can. Fam. Physician


Nov 16,12: The Annual Family Medicine Forum will be held in Toronto. The OscarCanada User Society – Annual General Meeting will be held on November 16, immediately following lunch. Come to the conference, visit the Oscar McMaster booth in the Vendor Hall. The FMF registration page is http://cfpcwp.com/fmfreg/

Sep 20,12: Montreal Oscar User Group meeting. This is an open meeting for all people interested in or using Oscar. Please RSVP, as we will be providing a lunch. When you RSVP, I will give you the secret location. My cell is (514) 891-3275

Sep 13,2012 – McMaster gets $5.8 million to improve electronic health records

Sep 6,12: Oscar Version 12.1 build 19 is out in .deb format.

Jul 4,12: Oscar v12 is out. v12.1 should be released at the end of July. I’m looking forward to some of the new faxing features.

May 4,12: The B.C. User Group is underway. Lots of useful information.

Feb 4,11: The ISO certification that was required by the government has now been cancelled.

Feb 4,11: Oscar across Canada. I’m collecting links now, so hopefully the map will be populated soon.

View Oscar Sites in a larger map

A new group is working on Oscar development in Quebec City. Hopefully this means that RAMQ billing will be a step closer.

The 2011 FMF (Family Medicine Forum) will be held next November 2nd to 5th in Montreal. http://fmf.cfpc.ca/English/index.html

Oscar Support Contract

After installing, training and supporting multiple Oscar sites for over 3 years, I have realized that I need to change the way I work.

I have dedicated a lot of time and energy into a great Open Source product.
I have not charged a lot for my work in the past since I was new to Oscar and was not familiar with the software and its functions.

Effective January 1st 2014 I will be charging a monthly fee for Oscar support.
The fee will be $100 per site per month, plus $50 per month for each additional full-time physician.
I’m not going to visit each site and count physicians or the hours that are worked.
If you are a sole-practitioner, the charge is only $100 per month.
If you have 3 full-time physicians, the charge would be $200 per month.
There is no charge for support staff.

This is an optional plan.
If you pay for one year in advance, the price drops by 16%. (From $1,200 to $1,000 or $2,400 to $2,000, etc. )

If you prefer not to pay for monthly support, I understand that, and will simply charge my normal hourly rate of $90.

There is no contract. The monthly fee includes the following:

Rapid response for any emergency or problem.
Monthly confirmation that the daily backup is running.
Biannual restoration of your backup on another server to ensure quick recovery (*).
One hour of training or eform programming per month which can be banked for one year.
Remote support any time (almost).
Free email and telephone support for a reasonable number of hours.

* If you would like to have your server mirrored to another server located outside your practice, I can do that. There would be a small setup charge, then the monthly cost of renting server space ‘in the cloud’. iWeb.com offers a range of Canadian (Quebec) based servers for $84 to $149 per month.This price would be reduced if multiple clinics share the same backup server.

I do not normally charge for quick calls or emails.

Special projects will be priced on a flat-rate or hourly fee, depending on the work required.

Oscar upgrades from v9 or v10 will be $500.
Oscar upgrades from v12 will be $250.
I don’t believe in performing unnecessary upgrades. The current version of Oscar is 12.1, which is very stable. Updates are being made on a regular basis. The only real reason for upgrading is to fix an existing problem or to get a new feature that you do not have.
When and if you want to upgrade, the process can be done over an evening or weekend.

The next major release of Oscar will be v14, and should be available at the end of 2014 or early 2015.

I can also help you find the best deal for computer equipment or services. My markups on hardware are very low, but honestly, unless you have specific requirements, sale prices at Future Shop, Best Buy or Bureau en Gros are usually below my cost prices.
Any server that I purchase usually includes on-site service directly from the manufacturer (HP or Lenovo).

The monthly fee is much less than what other OSPs (Oscar Service Providers) are charging.
Feel free to check the Oscar Canada web site. Most of the OSPs are listed there:

I would prefer not to change a monthly support fee at all, but I need to be able to ensure that I am available whenever there is an emergency and able to dedicate more time to improving Oscar in Quebec.

I will continue to organize monthly Oscar User Group meetings in Montreal.
Check the www.oscar-quebec.com site for updates.

I will continue to improve a great product and to help you be better, more efficient physicians.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to call or email anytime.
Earl Wertheimer | oscar-quebec.com | earlwer@gmail.com | (514) 891-3275