The continuing saga of VistA Office continues with the announcement that an evaluation version of the software is available through 4 software vendors
(although I suspect the list of vendors will grow). Participating in
the beta trial of a new product is not for the faint of heart. The
wording of the press release (whose obfuscatious text must be read to
be believed) does not inspire confidence in getting reliable software
that is ready for prime time.

The evaluation version will be distributed by qualified vendors and
evaluated for usability, effectiveness, implementation and potential
for what is known as interoperability, or the ability to communicate,
exchange, and use data with other systems and software. As a result of
this evaluation, software vendors will be able to further improve the
software and develop a version of VistA-Office EHR that is certified in
accordance with a process recognized by the Department of Health and
Human Services (HHS).

Oh, and the software's not free any more.

The Vista-Office evaluation software is not “free” software. There is
a small fee for obtaining the software on computer disk, and there will
be other fees an office will need to pay to use the software including
licensing and support fees for the database program and CPT® codes. The
added office staff cost associated with the implementation of an EHR
will also be a part of the total cost of ownership and will play a part
in physicians' decisions to adopt and test Vista-Office.

There is a new VistA-Office web site that provides more background information.

[Hat tip: iHealthBeat]