Medsphere Contributes Enhanced Database Management System to VistA Open Source Community

OSEHRA community agrees on Medsphere’s MSC FileMan as initial collaborative development project; VA to adopt enhanced DBMS in agency health facilities

Carlsbad, CA – Medsphere Systems Corporation, the leading provider of affordable health IT solutions and services, this week announced that the company is contributing the enhanced Medsphere Systems File Manager (MSC FileMan) database management system to OSEHRA, the nonprofit open-source organization dedicated to accelerating innovation in health care information technology.

With the contribution of MSC FileMan, which the OSEHRA community selected for collaborative development via a FileMan Unification Project at last month’s VistA Expo in Seattle, Medsphere both endorses a collaborative approach to VistA development and provides enhanced code around which the community can coalesce. Already, the FileMan Unification Project has garnered strong stakeholder support and will include VA adoption of the unified MSC FileMan in agency hospitals following OSEHRA community development.

“Medsphere’s long history of code convergence and open source development of VistA—the FileMan enhancements we plan to adopt are a perfect example—will have a profound impact on OSEHRA, VistA and health IT more broadly,” said Seong K. Mun, PhD, president and CEO of OSEHRA.

More specifically, Mun added, “Medsphere’s MSC FileMan is the optimal VistA-derived database solution and the OSEHRA community—Document Storage Systems, Inc., the Indian Health Service, WorldVistA, the VistA Expertise Network and Medsphere—agrees that it is a great place to start collaborating. We fully appreciate Medsphere’s commitment to enacting fundamental and necessary change.”

An extension of VA FileMan, MSC FileMan includes Medsphere enhancements—bug-fixes and significant new capabilities, including an internationalized data dictionary and a mouse-enabled ScreenMan—and all VA functionality, and it is backwards-compatible with any database created in VA FileMan. Enhancements to VA FileMan that Medsphere has made through work with the Indian Health Service (IHS), as well as modifications from other community sources, are also included.

“Medsphere is fundamentally aware that interoperability and affordability are probably the two primary obstacles to broad based improvement of healthcare through health IT,” said Medsphere President and CEO Irv Lichtenwald. “Open development is the way to overcome both of these challenges. Medsphere enthusiastically supports OSEHRA and we are very pleased that the growing development community selected MSC FileMan as an initial development effort.”

For the past 10 years Medsphere has worked to commercialize VA’s VistA electronic health record (EHR) with the goal of offering non-federal hospitals an affordable alternative to the prohibitively expensive systems offered by most health IT companies. A crucial component in creating an affordable system is community development, which was expanded in October of last year when VA embarked on the OSEHRA project to facilitate EHR improvements through open source collaboration.


OSEHRA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating innovation in electronic health record software and related technology.  Founded in 2011, the organization supports an open, collaborative community of users, developers, and researchers engaged in advancing electronic health record software and related health information technology. OSEHRA hosts software repositories for applications such as the Department of Veterans Affairs’ VistA electronic health record.

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