Jun 13 2012
Ever since my early days in the VA, I’ve hosted VA MUMPS Underground Railroad banquets to recognize people who have participated in helping to make the VA VistA Electronic Health Record system work. Here are some videos from the June 5, 2012 banquet held at George Mason University.
The name comes from a meeting that Donald Custis, then Head of VA’s Department of Medicine and Surgery, first saw the VistA system work. He had been told by the centralists that it was impossible to put an health information system on minicomputers, but when he saw it, he quipped, “Looks like we have an underground railroad here.” I took this as the name of our group, and had membership cards printed up, and started passing out awards for “Unlimited Free Passage on the Underground Railroad” and “Outstanding Engineering Achievement on the Underground Railroad.”
Here are my opening comments:
Here are the comments of Dr. Ross Fletcher, Chief of Staff of the Washington VA Medical Center. Ross has been a poster boy for clinician/programmer interaction in software development, always happy to give a physician’s eye view on how software should work. Having such close interaction between doctors and programmers was a key factor for the success of VistA. In this presentation, he demonstrates iPad apps to access VistA databases:
Here are the comments of Joseph Dal Molin, one of the founders of the World VistA community:
And here is a copy of a 1984 letter from Rep Sonny Montgomery, reinforcing the importance of the Underground Railroad: 1984 nov 5 montgomery letter to Underground Railroad