A new installation of FOIA VistA with the CPRS GUI is enough to get started learning VistA, but not to actually use the system to record patient medical data. There are a number of additional components required, as well as significant configuration procedures, in order to achieve an application that is clinically useful. Specifically, the following data items are not available in a freshly installed FOIA VistA instance:
- test patients
- care provider profiles
- pharmacy formulary (Drug File)
- locations (facilities and clinics)
All of the above must be input into the system prior to use, most operations require the use of the ‘roll and scroll’ interface (accessed through a terminal emulator, such as puTTY). Additionally, unless external applications are integrated with VistA, there is no other avenue for registering users and patients, or incorporating lab or other test results into patient records except the puTTY interface.
Additionally, the CPRS GUI itself needs to be configured to include specific capabilities, such as:
- notes templates
- vitals template
CPRS is primarily designed for clinical use by doctors, nurses, etc. The application will not allow you to register patients or add users, among other things.