Resource and Patient Management System (RPMS) was an early adoption of VistA by Indian Health Service (IHS) for outpatient use. It is tempting to call it a fork, but it is not--RPMS made a conscious decision to keep the exact same underlying code infrastructure as VistA, while developing different clinical applications. At the time, between 1983 to 1986, VA did not deliver outpatient services; where that was the vast majority of what IHS was providing. By necessity, then, RPMS couldn't use all the same code as VistA--it was not what IHS wanted or needed. The irony of history is that RPMS did eventually begin to use some additional VistA code when IHS needed some inpatient functionality, and VA adopted a lot of code from RPMS to provide outpatient functionality for VistA.

IHS used their existing system, called Patient Care Information System (PCIS), as a template for the RPMS look and feel: orientation to episodic visits; population health; and the use of the problem list and health summary as a corner stone of the medical record. PCIS was sunsetted in the mid-90s.

More information on RPMS's history can be found on Sam Habiel's website here.


Today, RPMS is a Meaningful Use Stage II certified Open Source Electronic Health Record. Compared with VistA, it is capable of providing much better patient care for women and children. Here are some of the capabilites unique to RPMS:

  • Full HIPPA compliance. FOIA VistA has only partial compliance with HIPPA.
  • Well child module
  • Prenatal care module
  • Women's health module (later absorbed into VistA)
  • Immunization system tailored for population health
  • Population management GUI, known as iCare
  • A patient registry system, with fully featured population health systems for diabetes and HIV
  • Extensive ability to run various queries on patient populations

More information on RPMS can be found here.

To install the server, go here.

To install the clients, go here.

To install the server using Vagrant, go here.

To get the server as a docker image, go here.

To get the a USB image with the server and the clients, go here.