Why is Open Source Good for Healthcare

“What are the advantages of open source software for health care?

Open source solutions have a number of advantages for a health care enterprise. The collaborative sharing of ideas and concepts practiced by users of open source software can create ‘communities’ of developers, partners, testers and users who interact with each other to further improve the software. This can speed up the development process,
bringing in skills that a single software vendor would not be able to provide.”

Quality and reliability of open source software.

“Bugs are vigorously discussed and fixed in the open, lending an unusual degree of transparency to the development process. This degree of community engagement takes time, and may give the appearance that open source development is more time consuming than traditional code development. The trade-off of the open source process is a higher degree of software quality. Detecting bugs before the software is placed into superior to proprietary software.”

Security concerns. (Security does not equal Secrecy)

“Since there is an admirable emphasis on protecting patient privacy in regards to health care information, managers need to be assured that an open source product implementation provides the level of security that is expected by consumers and clinicians. There is an unfortunate tendency to conflate security with secrecy. When such confusion reigns, then it is easy to carelessly assume that open source code must not provide the same degree of security as proprietary code.”

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