Tom Munnecke's blog

Invitation to VA MUMPS Underground Railroad Banquet in Bethesda, Sep 3.

I'm holding another Underground Railroad banquet at the Positano Restaurant in Bethesda Sep 3... To join us, early bird registration is now open at

This is carrying on a tradition started in 1982, when I gave then VA Deputy Administrator Chuck Hagel an "Unlimited Free Passage on the Underground Railroad" certificate.  It is a celebration and recognition of those who carry forward the original VistA vision.

I hope to see you there.



G.A.O. Tech Chief Says Washington Should Start Small on Big Projects

Conversation with Adm (ret) Harold Koenig at "RDF as Universal Health Language" workshop

Here is a video of a conversation I had with Vice Adm (ret) Harold Koenig, MD, discussing what doctors need from health IT at the New Health Project workshop on RDF as a Universal Health Language June 25, 2013 in Encinitas, Ca. In his 34 year career with the Navy, Adm.

Open letter to Maureen Coyle responding to her question on how to decouple information architecture from the org chart

At the recent OSEHRA summit, Maureen Coyle who wears several hats in the VA's modernization effort, asked me how to decouple information architecture from the org chart.  Here is my reply to her.

The basic theme is to shift our thinking to seeing things as a highly regular, large-scale, fined grained "information space" rather than a collection of enterprises, interfaces, and standards of exploding complexity.


Open Letter to Chuck Hagel: DoD still doesn't know what the hell they are doing

Here are some thoughts about the trends Adm Harold Koenig and I see happening in DoD health care.

Open Letter to Chuck Hagel: DoD still doesn't know what the hell they are doing.


Doug Engelbart: A great visionary has left us

Doug Engelbart, shown here at his 80th birthday party in 2002, showing off the world's first mouse, has passed away.

"RDF as Universal Healthcare language" workshop report

Here is a great article covering the RDF as Universal Healthcare language workshop June 3 in San Francisco.  I played mostly as videographer, and am uploading them now.  (The playlist will be growing.)

Porting VistA to Quantum Computers?

When we were working on the first version of VistA (it didn't even have a name then, but I'll simplify things and call it VistA) in 1978, we had Digital Equipment PDP-11 computers to work with.  Moore's law was well underway, and I knew that microcomputers would be coming more powerful, new models of computers would arrive, and that our software would have to run on a series of computers, not just the first one we used.

Interesting demonstration of self-organization

For those who think that only way to achieve order is through top down, centralized control, check out this demo of 32 metronomes synchronizing themselves:


RDF as Universal Healthcare language

After many years working on both the VA VistA and DoD CHCS software architectures, I came to the conclusion that we were hitting a wall of complexity that could not be handled with the technologies that we were using.  In the mid 1990's, I started wandering around looking for alternatives.  I found two very interesting candidates.

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