The Open Healthcare Group

XChart easier than paper

XChart is the Open Healthcare Group's XML-based open source electronic healthcare system.

Despite the inherent inefficiencies and added costs, medical records are still primarily paper-based. There are several good reasons why physicians and other healthcare professionals remain tied to the old-fashioned pen and paper. Paper-based systems still have several advantages over current electronic medical records:

  1. Paper is easy. You don't need any special software, hardware or training.
  2. Paper is fast. It is generally quicker to document encounters with a pen than with computer software.
  3. Paper is portable. Paper can be read and written while on the move.
  4. Copies of paper records can be easily transferred to other hospitals or physicians.
  5. There's no risk for a paper-based system to become obsolete. Unlike computer-based languages, english and other natural languages don't readily become archaic.

The Open Healthcare Group's XChart Project is a movement to create an electronic medical record that is easier than paper. XChart is a system designed to combine the ease, speed and portability of paper systems with the efficiencies of computerized records. XChart is browsable via the web with minimal training. XChart supports standards.

We have selected XML as a basis for the XChart repository because:

  1. It is becoming ubiquitous.
  2. It is easy to use.
  3. It is portable across operating systems and languages. It is well specified hence allowing future generations to read documents created today. It is available on nearly every platform in existence with open source parsers available in nearly every language. It has a well defined EBNF specification.
  4. XML can be transformed via XSLT into many presentation formats including HTML for rendering within browsers and WML for wireless devices. Using XML, a portable and ubiquitous information system can be created.

We have decided to create an open source implementation because we want as many people as possible to use our system.We use Java servlets for the repository to reduce particular operating system and hardware dependencies. All people should have access to good healthcare, and all people should have access to good healthcare software.

We want to create healthcare software that is simple and easy to use with minimal training. XChart will be intuitive and will operate across a wide range of devices including desktop machines, laptops, and handheld wireless devices.

We have designed XChart around RDF to allow intelligent agents to operate on the repository, enabling the next generation of medical research.

The Open Healthcare Group is composed of medical and technology professionals. We are actively seeking individuals and organizations who wish to collaborate on this project and help us make the healthcare system better and more efficient. Contact us if you are interested in joining the Open Healthcare Group Community.

A demonstration of a Java Servlet/XSLT based system which creates operative reports is available here.

We will be releasing a number of specifications and software projects which serve as a basis for the XChart project. Open Healthcare Group specifications are available here.

XChart: easier than paper.