Medsphere and the FOIA

By Deane Barker on November 25, 2005

Open Source Invades the Enterprise: Here’s an interesting tidbit in a very good article about the invasion of open-source. This is a snippet about Medsphere, a company that makes hospital management software. (Or, rather, a company that released hospital management software.)

Scott Shreeve, the co-founder and Chief Medical Officer, says that he started the company because he was amazed during his rotations as a medical student that the Veterans Affairs hospitals had an integrated software system, whereas private hospitals had as many as 43 different systems for databases of things like prescriptions and diagnosis information.

When he realized that the VA hospital software had been developed with taxpayer money, he and his brother Steve used the Freedom of Information Act to get the source code. Now Medsphere’s OpenVista is based on that code.

Huh. They essentially took software Uncle Sam — and therefore, you — had paid for, and released it to open source, then built a company around supporting it. Ingenious.

Via O’Reilly Radar.