Distributions of VistA

Distributions of VistA

One of the main advantages of Open Source software is its malleable nature; it can readily be customized to fit into unique clinical environments and workflows, or extended to integrate with other software and devices.

The myriad of options can be confusing at first, it often makes sense to start with a baseline version of VistA from which you may either build your own solution, or elect to work with an existing distribution. To get you started in VistA, OSEHRA offers a basic community distribution based on the VA FOIA VistA that has been enhanced to be runnable outside of the VA. OSEHRA offers as well some initial guidance and tools to get you up and running. These resources are meant to help get you acclimated to VistA, from there, the choice is yours.

Embracing and helping make sense of the distributions across the community is something OSEHRA takes an active role in. We help newcomers understand the various distributions available, in order to guide them to work with the one that best fits their needs. Below is a high level overview of some of the major distributions available today.


Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) VistA is VistA as distributed by the Department of Veteran's Affairs.

  • Available through osehra.org and Github. Updated monthly.
  • Not ONC-ACTB Certified.
  • Public Domain.


Enhanced FOIA VistA (OSEHRA VistA) is FOIA VistA made operational and usuable. It is a community supported distribution capable of being adapted and implemented by the healthcare industry.

  • Available through osehra.org and Github. Updated quarterly.
  • Includes improvements and enhancements developed outside the Federal system and tested by OSEHRA.
  • Compatible with most updates from VA and all updates from OSEHRA.
  • Where possible, VA redacted elements have been replaced with open-source equivalents.
  • Not intended for use in production.
  • Not ONC-ACTB Certified.
  • Any new code added to OSEHRA VistA over public domain FOIA VistA is Apache 2 licensed.


A complete Electronic Health Record (EHR) Solution. Open Source software complimented by a comprehensive suite of proprietary solutions, vxVistA is a leading solution for Collaborative Care.

  • Available at dssinc.com. Updated biannually.
  • Support and customization available from DSS, Inc.; an OSEHRA member since 2012.
  • Includes open-source and proprietary components.
  • Called vxVistA, DSS’s variant includes numerous extensions that enhance VistA’s basic capabilities.
  • ONC-ACTB Certified 2011 & 2014.
  • Apache 2 licensed.


OpenVista represents a single solution that can be leveraged across the continuum of acute, ambulatory and longterm-care environments as well as in multi-facility, multi-specialty healthcare organizations.

  • Available at medsphere.com.
  • Support and customization available from Medsphere.
  • Includes open-source and proprietary components.
  • Called Medsphere OpenVistA, Medsphere’s variant adds many of the extensions available through RPMS.
  • ONC-ACTB Certified 2011 & 2014.
  • Proprietary license.


Resource and Patient Management System (RPMS) - is a decentralized integrated solution for management of both clinical and administrative information in these healthcare facilities. Its primary user is the Indian Health Service. RPMS, unlike VistA, is strongly oriented towards outpatient care and population health. 

  • Available from the OSEHRA Technical Journal. Updated quarterly.
  • IHS is an OSEHRA collaborating partner since 2013.
  • Includes additional modules aimed at local clinics, including enhanced capabilities in pediatrics, women’s health, and billing.
  • ONC-ACTB Certified 2011 & 2014.
  • Public Domain.


WorldVistA seeks to help those who choose to adopt the VistA system to successfully master, install, and maintain the software for their own use. WorldVistA is good choice for clients who wish to set-up VistA on their own and maintain it on their own. It has found a following outside of the US where it is being run in big insallations in Jordan and India.

  • Available at worldvista.org. Updated approximately every 3-6 years.
  • Called WorldVistA EHR, WorldVistA’s variant is entirely Open Source.
  • ONC-ACTB Certified 2011.
  • AGPL 1.0 Licensed.