Vista was a Healthcare Application Before Being a Billing Application

VistA/CPRS (which is the provider portal) was developed as a healthcare application and later billing. This is unlike most of the ‘big guns’ in the US market. The success is in the ease of use and end-user functionality.

Philip Foulis

I’ve long argued that one of the biggest issues with EMR software is that they were originally designed to be big billing engines. Their intent wasn’t to try and improve healthcare. Their goal was to try and improve and manage reimbursement. So, it shouldn’t be any surprise that many doctors aren’t satisfied with what EHR software offers them when it comes to providing care to patients.

Of course this is starting to change as many see EHR software as the opportunity to improve health care and to lower the costs associated with healthcare. It’s going to take time to make the shift.

With this said, the quote above is quite interesting to consider. Was Vista really designed with the provider and patient in mind first? Obviously the VA bills very different than other hospital systems and so they can focus on the care of their patients since it’s incredibly beneficial to them to do so. It would be interesting to look at Vista versus the other major hospital EHR companies to see how they differ in this regard.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.

1 Comment

  • During my HealthIT training, VISTA was the only EHR we officially had hands on. I also played with the downloadable demo version. Not a hint of practice management or billing capability, but it seemed to me (uneducated that I am) to be very easy to use and quite extensive in its ability to document patient activity. It was not though, in the slightest bit fancy.

Click here to post a comment