Basic Questions

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What does VistA stand for?

VistA stands for Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture. (Yes. It has a silent H.) It is written in several computer programming languages ie: MUMPS, Delphi, and Java. MUMPS stands for the Massachusetts General Hospital Utility Multi-Programming System. (Yes it has a silent G and a silent H.) It's a tradition to have silent letters in our acronyms.What exactly is the Watermelon doing there?

What Software and Hardware does VistA need?

Since VistA is a full Health Information System, it requires hardware consistent with the way you are planning to use it. A small office of only a few doctors, can usually get by with a high end desktop personal computer running either the Linux Operating System, or the Microsoft Windows Operating System.

A VistA system has a true client-server architecture. There are two kinds of clients. The graphical client is called [[Overview of CPRS|Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS)]]. It is primarily focused on information needed by clinicians who are delivering care to patients. The text component of VistA doesn't have a name, however, as it was the primary client interface when VistA was named the Decentralized Hospital Computer Program, some people call it DHCP.

There are many computer programs available to access the text based VistA. All of them are Terminal Emulators, with names such as Putty, SmarTerm, KEA Term, MindTerm, XTerm, and many others. They run on almost every kind of Computer Operating System.

CPRS is actually a computer program named CPRSChart.exe and currently only runs on the Microsoft Windows Operating System. There is some interest in using CPRS on a Linux OS machine using Wine supported by Code Weavers. This interest is moving slowly, primarily due to lack of funds.

The main-stay for the VistA system in the DVA, now is the VMS operating system, a true, clustered system.