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Switching Hospital Systems to Linux 305

jcatcw writes "Health care software vendor McKesson Provider Technologies is focusing on ways to cut IT costs for customers, including hospitals and medical offices. The cure is moving many of McKesson's medical software applications to Linux, which can then be used on less expensive commodity hardware instead of expensive mainframes. A deal with Red Hat allows McKesson to offer its software in a top-to-bottom package for mission-critical hospital IT systems."
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Switching Hospital Systems to Linux

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  • hmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12, 2007 @11:10PM (#21679651)
    the cure are doing what now?
  • by log1385 ( 1199377 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2007 @11:16PM (#21679673)
    If this catches on, health care will become a little more affordable. 60% of IT costs is quite a bit of money for hospitals to save.
    • by explosivejared ( 1186049 ) <> on Wednesday December 12, 2007 @11:28PM (#21679741)
      Honestly, it would be nice, but IT costs are afterthoughts when it comes to the healthcare industry. The market is so broken. Quality of care and price are completely detached. The privatization here, the socialization there... it's just one big quagmire. If this sort of thing did catch on, which would be a long ways in the future and a big if at that, the effect on the price of care would be almost unnoticeable. It's nice to dream, but beaureacracy and corporate litigiousness have busted the market. It's a mess.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13, 2007 @12:28AM (#21680113)
        Call me when we get doctors that are not gouging prices like crazy, hospital admins that do very little for their 6 figure incomes, Supplies that are horribly overpriced, medications that are priced 9000 percent higher than normal.

        The entire medical biz is a scam to get the poor to finance a few $2,500,000 homes and lots of BMW 7 series cars. Doctors do not deserve to be paid insane rates. Some doctors are sane and charge real rates and tell their clients to avoid the hospital at all costs while helping them with outpaitent surgery in their offices.

        IT costs are less than 1/90th the cost of health care.
    • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2007 @11:29PM (#21679755) Journal
      The IT costs are peanuts compared to the real costs. And of course those real costs are mostly made up. It is the inflated values of machines used for testing. Any witch doctor can say your leg is broke, but only a few would have an X-ray and MRI machines to show why they need to charge you more for their opinion.

      You would think that after they pay for their equipment, the costs of using it would go down. It just isn't so, Sure there are still costs like maintenance and so on but generally the cost of using it goes up once it is paid off.
      • I saw the witch doctor, 'said health care was 'broke
        I asked what that meant, so he lit an herb smoke;
        And then the witch doctor, he gave me this advice -
        he said to

        Cut Down, on high priced cures,
        use prevent-tative measures

        Vitamin C, ten cents a pop,
        *before* you get the cold and cough

        The only time for that doctor-bloke
        is somethin' like your leg is broke!

        Oo ee, ooh ah ah, ting tang,
        walla walla bing bang!
      • by xtracto ( 837672 ) on Thursday December 13, 2007 @07:38AM (#21681961) Journal
        They might be peanuts, but yet there tend to stack together pretty quickly. Just some months ago, I went to a talk about Open Source Course Management Systems where UKs MP Mr. John Pugh gave a very interesting talk. In one part of that talk he addressed the issue of the NHS (UK health system) upgrades to the doctors' machines. It seems, he argued, they were upgraded to new Microsoft Office software. But, when people tried to convince the NHS to use open source to reduce costs, they said that it was not possible because Microsoft was giving a "special edition" of Microsoft Office which was specifically created for Doctors. Pugh's comments were really funny and insightful, paraphrasing a lot, he said something like:

        "So, what kind of 'special version' of word should a doctor need? do they come with special medical symbols? "

        Oh well... I can not do sarcasm as well as a real Briton would do it... sorry.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by terryducks ( 703932 )

        And of course those real costs are mostly made up. It is the inflated values of machines used for testing.

        The companies who made that machine need to recover R&D costs over a small number of units.
        Those machines are not in everyone's house, ya know.

        If the damn ambulance chasers stop with the frivolous lawsuits and concentrated on the actual screwups - the costs should go down. The Dr's unions need to start kicking out the "bad" ones.

        MRI machines are mega bucks. Most hospitals I know run tho

  • by dmr001 ( 103373 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2007 @11:18PM (#21679681)
    If you use McKesson's software every day like I do, you would be amazed at its expense, sluggishness, and irritability. Lab systems that insist on running on Internet Explorer 6 and resizing to fit your whole screen aren't a big surprise - however mediocre. But mission critical systems that routinely crash with Java errors, can't run reliably remotely, require large IT departments to maintain, are slower and more difficult to use than the tty-based systems they replaced, can't trend labs, can't reliably wildcard search patient names, and die miserably if the wind blows more than 5 miles an hour or the moon is waxing - this is truly sad.

    I wish our hospital system could dig its way out of it. I don't think running on top of Linux will help much. See if you can get a screenshot of their software on their website - I can't - they don't promote this stuff to the physicians and nurses who use it - it gets sold to the suits. There's a goldmine out their awaiting some entrepreneur who could really take pride in writing good software of this sort, and though I love Linux, I don't really care what it runs on top of.

    • Two possibilities: in the process of porting, they have to rewrite all of the bits that call grody Windows bits, such as IE, and therefore many problem bits get fixed . . . or they just write bad code all over again, Linux gets the blame, and hospitals revert at great cost.

      RedHat may help though - they might insist on some level of quality / provide some assistance in the creation of software that does not suck quite so much. They have a reputation to maintain, as well as sufficient company-ness to expla
      • RedHat may help though - they might insist on some level of quality / provide some assistance in the creation of software that does not suck quite so much.

        (laughs so hard milk squirts out his nose)

        Red Hat newbie, are we?
        • by gardyloo ( 512791 ) on Thursday December 13, 2007 @12:24AM (#21680087)
          Gosh, I hope you were drinking milk.
        • by Psychotria ( 953670 ) on Thursday December 13, 2007 @12:25AM (#21680097)
          I actually think you're the redhat newbie and not the parent. RedHat in recent (3-4 years?) has been very stable. All the stuff gets seriously stress-tested on Fedora first, so by the time it makes it into a stable RedHat, things are stable--i.e. the packages don't "suck". Additionally, because things are "tested" on Fedora first you get this kind of intrinsic QA for things making it into RedHat stable. Next time you decide to squeeze milk through your sinuses, at least do it for something funnier ;-)
          • by module0000 ( 882745 ) on Thursday December 13, 2007 @12:35AM (#21680145)
            Glad to see someone else saw this glaring piece of obviousness.

            Just because a product wasn't plug-and-play in 1997 when you last used it, doesn't mean it still sucks a decade later.

            The amount of testing/development that takes place in the fedora community all funnels directly into a more stable and usable product(i.e. RHEL). That subscription to RHN ensures those engineers bust their ass to fix whats wrong and get it delivered to you: it also means that if your the IT staff in said hospitable and something doesn't make 100%, you can call someone who it does make 100% to and get an answer/fix instead of diagnosing it for 45 minutes while a doctor needing to do a simple task breathes down your neck and wastes both their time and yours.
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by remmelt ( 837671 )
              > Just because a product wasn't plug-and-play in 1997 when you last used it, doesn't mean it still sucks a decade later.

              OBVIOUSLY you haven't been using Windows Vista.
        • by rts008 ( 812749 )
          Yeah, like a WWDC101 FM disc jockey once observed about a porno he was watching in slow motion-reverse (vhs days) " an aardvark snorting milk!"

          Snort much milk, PeeWee? (you've obviously been out of touch with RedHat lately, and in touch with only yourself)

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Two possibilities: in the process of porting, they have to rewrite all of the bits that call grody Windows bits, such as IE, and therefore many problem bits get fixed . . . or they just write bad code all over again, Linux gets the blame, and hospitals revert at great cost.

        You don't "call" IE, you serve it. And the description poster provided is of the Java server code rewrite that didn't work like the prior "tty" system. That's mainframe terminal software. (I'm an AS/400 System i pro
    • Start a project to collect requirements. A lot of geeks will happily hack on it for you but we have no idea WTF you need.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by PolyDwarf ( 156355 )
        Hospitals will not go for that.

        They want accountability. They want someone to blame/sue if something goes wrong. A bunch of geeks writing software anonymously across the Internet? No hospital manager will go for that, especially with privacy guidelines going rampant. Even if they have the source code, they will not have the time/money to audit that code to make sure that everyone's info is not going to Russia.

        They'll talk to Redhat and McKesson... Those companies are taking the responsibility (and liabi
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          They want accountability. They want someone to blame/sue if something goes wrong.

          IMHO if they went this way the best option would be to hire a couple of really good programmers and get them to do the final QA on the code. Set down guidelines for the anonymous geeks out there and ignore code that breaches this. True this allows for winners of the underhanded C competition to have a crack at sneaking code into the system, but the accountability is there, and is thus no different from hiring a software company. The geeks benefit because at some point the cost of health care would surely d

        • by QuantumG ( 50515 )
          They can choose to take control over their own IT solution or they can continue to be dissatisfied with a proprietary one.. it's completely up to them.

    • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2007 @11:47PM (#21679865) Homepage
      Well, TFA didn't exactly mention it, but it appears that it's the server apps that get the UNIX -> Linux treatment. I'll bet that the clients remain XP / Exploder 5-6.

      Linux at the desk top is so next year.

      • by tsa ( 15680 )
        Linux at the desk top is so next year.

        Haha, that's a good one, I have to remember that.
    • by demonlapin ( 527802 ) on Thursday December 13, 2007 @12:11AM (#21680021) Homepage Journal
      AMEN BROTHER! I'm a doctor in a hospital that just deployed an electronic health record system that is slower than the system it replaced - which was slower than the TTY system it replaced - that refuses to search patient names if you can't provide a first initial. I'm an anesthesiologist, so I see people I don't have long relationships with, and remembering someone's first name is just damned hard when you remember their medical conditions better than their name. The one piece of medical software I've seen that is really fantastic - and no, I don't own a piece of the company, I just wish I did - is our radiology system, Stentor iSite (now bought by Phillips, I think). It's very easy to use, yet the advanced user can access all sorts of features that improve the experience.
      • by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Thursday December 13, 2007 @01:23AM (#21680377)
        I'm a doctor in a hospital that just deployed an electronic health record system that is slower than the system it replaced - which was slower than the TTY system it replaced - that refuses to search patient names if you can't provide a first initial.

        Pay attention here, IT freaks. Notice that the user here (possibly your doctor) says nothing about the OS. This is simply abysmal design and implementation. Unix/Linux/Windows/OSX/Oracle/Postgres/MySQL/MSSQL....ALL could end up thusly. Or all could end up not too bad. Design it right, and build it right. Think about what your user is actually trying to accomplish.

        I saw some comments upthread about RedHat this and Linux that...Bullshit. The user interface is (most of) the key. If you screw that, the backend matters little.

        Yes, if you start from a stable base, it is easier. But no matter what the base is, if you fuck up the actual program and interface the that user, in this case a doctor or nurse, uses....everything else is irrelevant. They will hate it. And still not care what the base OS is.
        • by tsa ( 15680 )
          Mod parent up! This is the most Insightful comment I've read in weeks.
        • by l0b0 ( 803611 )
          TTY programs were mentioned several times earlier - Surely they will be tons easier to develop on GNU/Linux than on DOS / Windows?
        • Think about what your user is actually trying to accomplish.

          But you missed the point in the grandparent posting -- this system is sold to the suits who run the hospital, not the poor sods who actually get to use it. As a result there is really no impetus for the management of the software company to spend anything more than the barest minimum they can get away with to actually develop the software or make sure it runs right.

          I've been in this sort of situation (as a programmer) and I can say that it's not pleasant, nor conducive to good software development, usability, reliability etc.


      • Interesting. I work in IT for the anesthesiology dept at a Northern California hospital. We use Stentor and Epic's EMR. Our biggest frustration is the lack of a good billing module for our procedures.
    • by basic0 ( 182925 ) <> on Thursday December 13, 2007 @12:24AM (#21680081)

      There's a goldmine out their awaiting some entrepreneur who could really take pride in writing good software of this sort
      This is exactly what I've been doing for the last 8 months. I'm being paid by a neurologist to develop a system to run his practice. What I've built is a LAMP framework that can be adapted to any medical practice. It's entirely paperless, replaces faxing, automates a ton of stuff currently done by secretaries, and meets all the requirements for electronic records set out by The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. I'm developing the whole thing on my own (so far), and although I'm not a brilliant programmer, it's faster, more secure, more scalable, and more platform independent, and way more intuitive than anything that's currently being used at any hospital in our city.

      We're in beta testing with actual patients now and my boss is bankrolling us into starting a company to sell the software and other medical-related IT solutions to local doctors (many of whom have horribly inefficient offices and don't fully realize it). I'm hoping we can expand beyond just local doctors, because it is a huge market and the best anyone else seems to be doing (around southern Ontario at least) is holding seminars to talk about how technology could be used to enhance medical practice someday.

      • by copdk4 ( 712016 ) on Thursday December 13, 2007 @01:48AM (#21680509) Homepage
        yes its a huge market. it all works fine in a local institution, but the real challenge lies when you try to "generalize" it to different institutions, each with their own idiosyntric processes and data elements. Keep in mind unless you make the underlying engine some standards based (using RIM or terminology driven) or use good design software practices (Archetypes) you ll have a lot of trouble customizing it.. unless of course.. you become like existing vendors who develop the whole thing from scratch at each installation site and send a team of IT services who work there forever and keep your revenue stream running. Good Luck.

        my 2 cents
    • I was going to make my own McKesson sucks comment, but instead I'll just second yours. They write Crap. Period. End of story.

      I remember sitting in on a presentation they once made to one of our directors regarding some new patient records management system they were trying to pitch to us. Not one single screen shot was shown nor were any technical people on hand so that I could ask the difficult questions. In the end, when she asked me my opinion, the conversation went like this:

      Me: Remember application X that you used to use at hospital Y?
      Her: Uh... yes.
      Me: They wrote it.

      We didn't buy the software.
    • I had to throw my mee-too in. I worked as a contractor at a hospital and had pretty poor experiences with the crappy hospital industry software, including McKesson's. My interactions with their company proved their stupidity. Applying patches to their software was truly painful.
    • There's a goldmine out their awaiting some entrepreneur who could really take pride in writing good software of this sort, and though I love Linux, I don't really care what it runs on top of.

      I just got a job at a very good clinic (not in IT, but that's another story), and I must say, they are good in spite of their computers. Case in point: I have four computer logins, and two phone logins. All without getting up from my chair. More to the point, after looking at this stuff for six weeks, I keep thinking, "OK, this is pretty sophisticated, but it's still just a front end to a database. It could be a LOT better if there had been an information architect in the building when they put it together

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2007 @11:23PM (#21679709)
    Just wanna give a shout out to the PR rep that planted this story. Three brand mentions in the opening paragraph - can I get a whoop-whoop?

    Two points off for the "less expensive commodity hardware instead of expensive mainframes" - that's a Microsoft marketing phrase from the early 1990's for God's sake - but still a pretty good job all around.
  • Dont make me laugh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13, 2007 @12:02AM (#21679977)
    A while ago I was hacking at parts of that great mess commonly known as McKessons "top-to-bottom package" for almost 5 years. As far as I can tell the "package" is actually hodge-podge collection of applications accumulated over time by acquiring various software vendors which barely talk to each other. In a lot of cases the people who wrote the apps and knew how to maintain those cached out and jumped the ship years ago. Last thing I heard of it this summer entire locations were shut down and routine maintenance moved to Bangalore. As a twist those left to the end had to do some time there training replacements. Personally I am extremely skeptical about their ability to maintain what's there, much less move this all stuff to radially different platform such as Linux.
  • OpenVista (Score:5, Informative)

    by Wheelie_boy ( 26751 ) on Thursday December 13, 2007 @12:56AM (#21680243)
    Really want to save money? And a whole lot of Tums? Screw McKesson's kludgeware.

    OpenVista is the open source version of the VA's VistA program, deployed at over 1500 sites worldwide. You can also grab it for free from [].

    Yes, you can get professional training, installation and ongoing support for it: []

    • by JoshJ ( 1009085 )
      You (or whoever) should maybe consider a different name; if I were to hear "OpenVista" without context I'd assume it were a ReactOS-type deal.
      • by RCSInfo ( 847666 )
        OpenVista is an implementation of VistA as in Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture, which existed long before Microsoft Windows Vista, or any Microsoft Windows for that matter.

        As Michael Bolton once said "No way. Why should I change? He's the one who sucks."
    • Re:OpenVista (Score:4, Informative)

      by ochampaugh ( 886730 ) on Thursday December 13, 2007 @03:20AM (#21680945)
      Are you actually using VistA in a medical practice? I hear a lot of people recommending VistA as a free software alternative to expensive and often disappointing commercial systems, but not many people use VistA outside the VA. I went to the WorldVistA conference in Pittsburgh in July 2006 to look into using it for our ~30 doctor ophthalmology group, and I was surprised at the small size of the community actually using this creaky old software in a private practice setting. There are a few promising installations, and the core user group is incredibly dedicated and friendly. I met one of the devs from MedSphere at another conference a couple years ago, and they've done some fascinating work trying to make the best of this system and support it. But I think most of the people recommending this system either don't know much about it or want you to buy their VistA related services.

      I'm a pretty hardcore advocate of FOSS solutions, and I was excited by the hype around VistA. But after learning about this system in some detail there's no way I could recommend it as a reasonable alternative to the better commercial systems out there despite the savings on software licenses. MUMPS is a platform without much of a future. There are huge gaps in functionality. And the future of VistA outside the VA is far from certain. I'd encourage anyone looking for an EMR/EHR system to educate themselves about VistA a little, but I suspect most of them will reach the same conclusions we did.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 13, 2007 @01:03AM (#21680277)
    Posting as AC for obvious reasons... Unfortunately for me I work in healthcare IT. But at least I can pass the bad news on to you.

    We can argue about how much of healthcare costs are sucked up by IT. But whatever percentage you come up with is likely to be not insignificant. And one of the biggest costs of healthcare IT is the amount of money paid to so-called "IT Consultants".

    My understanding is that pure healthcare people don't understand much about IT and since they figure IT is the next biggest thing, they are willing to give money hand over fist to people who have decent resumes in this field who present themselves as IT "experts".

    They are throwing their money away. It's really awful.

    If you don't believe me, look at some of the so-called IT "standards" documents coming out of the healthcare IT community.

    Sure, HL7 V3 is a good, robust yet flexible standard definition. But look at some of the abysmal crap that is being built off of it.

    I mean, seriously, read some of these "standards" documents coming from non-HL7 sources. Not only are they inconsistent with reality. They have massive internal contradictions, logical inconsistencies and even simple syntax errors. And this is stuff from organizations that have been around for A DECADE.

    Believe me, IT consulting has nothing to do with helping the healthcare industry actually make the best use of modern technology and everything to do with lining the pockets of a few contractors who would be thrown out of any other domain for sheer incompetence.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    that this is a bunch of marketing hype. Mumps, STAR and absolute garbage is about all that they produce. In general the state of IT with American healthcare is pretty bad, and having worked on their lackluster products, and knowing how they rank among providers drives the point home. They are too cheap to hire top tier staff, their culture does no encourage innovation, they do everything they can to drive out their capable staff instead ramping up on a big group to develop software in India. It is
  • Just make it work (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RIC_Splinter ( 1189765 ) on Thursday December 13, 2007 @01:15AM (#21680327)
    I work in the Medical Imaging field, a MRI Field Engineer for Siemens, users in hospital want something that works, they are less tolerant of reboots and system hangs.
    In the past Unix (SunOS) was the preferred platform, there are actually many MRI systems running on a 100Mhz Sparc processors today, which still do and excellent job.
    We've moved to Windows, it's a common interface for users who can learn it quickly. Windows requires CPU's in the 3Ghz range and higher to be effective. Windows also has major issues with Service Patches and hotfixes in the Medical imaging world, all updates have to be QA'd so there is a delay of months before they get applied. Medical Imaging will probably continue to move away from Windows and it's patches if can make an interface easy for the average user who walks upto a system and start using it.
    Recently at Siemens Medical [] the MRI systems moved from Windows to Linux (Suse) for the image reconstruction computers (Not at the user console). During MRI imaging data is coming in from the scanner at 10MSamples/Sec at 24bit accuracy up to 32 separate channels, that's a significant amount of data to be processed, having a mouse pointer and a GUI interface is just not needed, Linux just more efficient.
    • Windows requires CPU's in the 3Ghz range and higher to be effective.

      There's an easy fix for that: don't use Vista.

    • by jd ( 1658 )
      I looked at similar data rates when working as a programmer for CERN's EUROGAM project out at Daresbury Laboratory. That was using a 68040-based VME crate running VxWorks for the real-time stuff and a Sparcstation for user-side processing. (During a test run, I ended up killing the nuclear structure facility's internal network, with the data collection and storage software running around on the CPU giggling.)

      Modern high-end processors should be able to highly sophisticated real-time processing on the data

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by moosesocks ( 264553 )

      During MRI imaging data is coming in from the scanner at 10MSamples/Sec at 24bit accuracy up to 32 separate channels, that's a significant amount of data to be processed, having a mouse pointer and a GUI interface is just not needed, Linux just more efficient.

      Yes.... that IS a lot of data.

      And running a GUI should have nothing to do with it. A reasonably modern computer shouldn't incur all too much of a performance hit by running a GUI layer. Linux + Xfce makes a great lightweight desktop that should be ve

  • Bad idea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by teslatug ( 543527 ) on Thursday December 13, 2007 @01:42AM (#21680473)
    I don't know how big these customers are, but Linux is not as stable as people seem to think. I used to work for one of these software companies, and Linux was just for small customers (go above 1000 concurrent users and you're toast). Weird problems start to crop up. Usually RedHat will respond with oh just update to the latest version of xyz. But when you're talking about medical software you can't just upgrade things on a whim. Has RedHat's cluster software even gotten anywhere yet? That was another pain the ass to deal with.
  • open-source alternatives such as MySQL and Ingres catch up with features and robustness, they will eventually be brought into the mix.

    On a zOS system, you'd run DB/2, but they use Oracle on Linux. I'm still having a bit of a hard time believing that MySQL on linux has the same "features and robustness" as DB/2 on zOS.

    Btw, I can run plenty of web front end applications that have a mainframe on the backend. This looks like a case of rewriting crappy applications with more crappy applications. But this time I can make a press release showing I'm tossing out my "5 nines" mainframe for a linux farm (which could, provided the apps are writ

  • Recently, they requested we do an "open source strategy", which in essence is the plan looking forward a few years to cut over everything to open source solutions.
    * The database and reporting layers are Oracle 10g.
    * The hospital system application system runs on top of the Oracle 10g Business intelligence suite.
    * The system is run on 3 servers per hospital site. Two of the servers are configured to use RHEL and one is running Windows Server 2003. Medium term planning (after the system is stabilized) inc
    • Remember OSS isn't just Linux.

      In your particular case, that would be EnterpriseDB. You didn't say whether you're running SE or EE, and I can't remember whether BI is emulated by EnterpriseDB or if they only emulate AS, but if you want to talk about an open source strategy it is worth at least mentioning. The other big money saver is moving from EE back to SE - partitioning is all well and good, but you can afford about a terabyte of solid-state drive for the saving in licence fees, which would more than m
    • A: Linux Migraine
    • Q: What is Beowulf Cluster Headache?
  • It's Not a Mainframe (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BBCWatcher ( 900486 ) on Thursday December 13, 2007 @03:13AM (#21680923)

    The original Computerworld article [] cited is confusing, but it refers to UNIX mainframes. The most likely educated guess is they're talking about high-end UNIX servers from Sun, Hewlett-Packard, and/or IBM, not what we would generally think of as true mainframes, notably IBM's System z [].

    Yes, among System z's five popular operating systems z/OS contains a complete and certified UNIX(TM) implementation (called z/OS UNIX System Services). And yes, System z runs 100% GPL open source Linux. And yes, OpenSolaris on z will be z's OS #6 before too long, and that's clearly UNIX(TM) too. But I doubt the article is talking about any of these technologies, based on the context of the article. There are not 2,500 U.S. hospital IBM mainframes (the number of McKesson hospital customers cited), for example. Maybe there should be.

    Computerworld's editors seem to be on vacation, unfortunately, so their usually good copy editing is suffering, resulting in some gibberish articles. This week they also reported that Steve Jobs and The Woz approached Commodore in 1982 to talk about the latter company selling the Apple II, pointing out that Apple's two founders didn't have enough money to launch the product, worked out of a basement, and the safety and stability of cashing out for a couple hundred Gs was better than the alternative. Unfortunately for Computerworld they got the date wrong: by 1982 Apple was doing just fine, and The Woz was doing Nissan commercials.

  • mainframe to windows (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bender Unit 22 ( 216955 ) on Thursday December 13, 2007 @06:08AM (#21681577) Journal
    Usually what you see is people going from mainframe to windows servers(and expecting the same stability(ha)), so with that in mind, I am happy with the choice of Linux.
    • by iBod ( 534920 )
      Mainframe to Linux transitions I've seen have been equally disasterous.

      It's an accountants solution (CHEAP!) not a technical one.
      • It's an accountants solution (CHEAP!) not a technical one.
        I agree.
        And I always stay far away from those projects, because I know the amount of overtime that will come when the users starts to complain about the stability that they were used to, are gone.
  • Potential... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by arigram ( 1202657 )
    I will share with you a little related story, hoping you won't find it off topic.

    Some years ago, when I entered the greek army to do my military duty and after boot camp, I ended up in a military hospital. To make the story short, I worked there for a couple months as an office assistant.

    The resident Captain Psychiatrist called me to his office one day to request assistance for some Microsoft Access database he was building. I told him I didn't knew anything about it, but I was going to find out. I had t

  • by dotancohen ( 1015143 ) on Thursday December 13, 2007 @10:08AM (#21682847) Homepage
    In July and August I contacted about 40 medical software providers about Linux software. NONE OF THEM WERE INTERESTED. Here are some of the responses:

    Thanks for contacting Cakewalk! I believe you are referring to our SONAR 6 Producer Edition software ( Unfortunately, we haven't released a Linux version of SONAR, and our products are only available for Windows XP and Vista operating systems.

    Thanks for your question. We do not have a Linux version. Consider running eMachineShop software under Win emulator on your Linux machine. If you have further questions we welcome your feedback.

    Thank you for your interest in TimeTrade Systems. Our application has only been tested on the Windows OS. One thing that is certain is that our SQL database will not operate on the Linux system. Will you continue to operate on the Linux OS?

    Thank you for contacting PEPID Customer Support. Unfortunately, we do not have patient scheduling software and we don't have a Linux port of our Suites.

    We really only support Windows or Vista operating systems. Do you have a way to make it work?

    Sorry, I am afraid not.

    As our website states, we work with Windows XP or Vista. That means that we do not work with a Linux system. If you require additional information, I am happy to assist. You can contact me any time regarding your needs with a scheduling software.

    Currently we only support Windows as a client/server operating system. It may be possible in the future to use linux as a client, but right now we are tied to Windows.

    Sorry we only have a windows version. PLEASE REMEMBER TO BACKUP EVERYNIGHT. You can do this by going to file then backup and follow the steps.

    No, sorry, we don't have a Linux port, it only works under windows. Do you have other billing and emr software that runs under linux?

    EPSKED requires the Microsoft Windows operating system.

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