Which operation system should I use for OSCAR?
OSCAR is a web based application like GOOGLE, which means you can use OSCAR on whatever computer you have. Once you have your local network setup and OSCAR server ready, you can use OSCAR.
What is open source?
Open source software refers to software that is non-proprietary, available at no or minimal cost, allows different software components to operate compatibly (concept of the "Lego blocks"), and facilitates collaboration in order to improve and enhance the freely-accessible source code.
An excellent overview is provided by Ken Kizer, the former CEO of the Veteran’s Administration (VA) in the USA. The VA is widely-regarded as one of the most successful IT implementations in the world and has been open source throughout its development.
"For the past twenty years open source software has been building momentum in the technical cultures that built the Internet and the World Wide Web. Open source has now established its viability in the commercial sector, and a major shift toward open source software is underway throughout the world."
"A critical milestone in the history of open source was the creation of the Linux operating system in the 1990s. Linux demonstrated that open source development methodologies could deliver commercially viable technology to the market."
"In open source, the basic software is viewed as a commodity and its development is collaborative and shared by the community of users."
"Because contributions to enhancing the code come from many sources in an environment of collaboration, innovation is more rapid."
"Open source is much more consistent with a true free market approach than proprietary products that entail the infamous 'vendor lock'."
LOCAL solution VS ASP solution?
With local solution you will have your patient's records in your office. With ASP solution your patient's records are hosted and maintained remotely by a 3rd party company. A full comparison of Local VS ASP can be found here .
What is vendor lock -in?
Access to your data can be compromised if there is a contract dispute with the data management company or the vendor, or if your vendor goes bankrupt. Once you go with a product, that vendor essentially has a monopoly.
Migrating between EMRs is usually not possible or encouraged by vendors. Although there are efforts to create EMR to EMR standards, none yet exist. Once you have invested data in a proprietary system, you are stuck. The vendor can name their price for additional features because no one else can write for the product. New features are usually slow to arrive because the vendor has to wait until there is a significant demand for that feature before investing money into its development. The vendor has little interest in creating customized features for one user because it is more difficult to maintain support.
Conforming to standards alone will not protect against vendor lock - it is only the product being open source which achieves this.
Do I need to be a “techie” to use open source?
No. Just as with any proprietary EMR you can pay for technical support. In open source, there are often a range of companies who are available to provide support. If you are a “techie” and do not wish to pay for support, that is also an option.
Will it be more work for me if I go with open source?
From the perspective of the customer/user, the amount of work involved in using open source is no different from proprietary products if you choose to pay for support.
Are security concerns any different with open source software?
Experts believe that open source is actually more secure than closed source software.
For a discussion of these questions see:
Why should I choose an open source EMR?
· User driven and responsive: open source software development is driven by the user community; it is therefore highly-responsive to user's needs.
· Low cost: total cost of ownership of the software and its data is usually dramatically less than proprietary EMR. You may even find that costs are lower in supporting your EMR implementation with your own funds using open source, than the costs of implementing EMR with a partial provincial subsidy to use a proprietary product.
· Sustainability: Costs of proprietary products are expected to dramatically escalate over the next several years as provinces move to narrow the vendor field and increase system requirements. This will create an ever-more captive consumer market with proprietary systems and for those whose systems are not compliant with newer standards, it may mean a significant loss of investment and data.
· Proven: OSCAR was the first EMR to pass the latest standards of conformance testing in Ontario. OSCAR is widely-used by many satisfied doctors around the country.
· Choice: you have a choice of which vendor will provide your service.
· Freedom: Many users describe their user experience as one of "freedom" on many levels.
· Community: if you are interested in contributing to the development of the product and being a member of an engaged-user community, open source is for you. If you prefer to quietly use the product and not actively participate in its development, open source is also for you. Please click on the following link if you would like to hear more from an oscar user near you.
What companies provide support to OSCAR?
Here is a list of support companies.
What kind of server should I choose to host OSCAR EMR software?
OSCAR should be run in a Unix environment. Depending on the size of your practice, the requirement might be different. For example, if you have 2 doctors in your clinic, and each doctor sees 50 patients per day, each patient will have 5 electronic documents which will eventually need to be uploaded into OSCAR. Each document is 200K, and after 3 years, there will be 2 x 50 x 5 x 0.2 x 3 x 365 = 106G hard driver eaten up just for patient's documents. Also, the more people using OSCAR, the more server memory willl be required and faster CPU expected as well.
|Small clinic||Medium size clinic||Big size clinic|
|1-2 doctors with 1-2 reception's office. Mac mini server will be an ideal choice.||2-10 doctors with other office staff, both HP and DELL will have the best solutions.||10 + doctors with other office staff, IT person, may require RACK server solution.|
How can I see a demo?
There are some flash demos which will provide a basic idea on how the OSCAR application suite works. Click here to access the page. You can also login into the OSCAR demo site and explore more about OSCAR EMR.
Who should I contact if I am interested to learn more?
We are more than glad to help you. Please call 905-667-4768 or send an email to email@example.com for more information. You can also fill out the online form and we will contact you.