An important part of the reason why (some) people respect what I have to say with regards to FOSS Healthcare IT is that I do not pull punches. I also do not hesitate to admit when I am wrong.
Recently, Mike Doyle from Medsphere called me. I have a lot of respect for Mike, just about everything Medsphere has done since his arrival has been right-on. He has empowered other people at Medsphere that I have respect for. He was calling to let me know that some of the information in my recent post about Medspheres layoffs, was incorrect.
Most significantly, he said that the layoffs were part of the whole company moving away from proprietary land and towards open source. He maintained that Medsphere has been commiting more and more employees to Medsphere.org, thier new community portal. I must admit, it is one of the best portals available. Matched only by the OpenMRS portal in my opinion. According to Mike, the sum total of “new hires for open source” vs. “retiring proprietary efforts” is a positive net gain of employees for open source.
The only difference between growth and decay is which parts change, and which parts stay the same. If Medsphere is truly “retooling” its employees towards open source community members then much of my previous criticism is invalid.
It is not hard to tell that Medsphere is making an investment in the FOSS community. This is especially true in the mono community. They have hired several mono engineers and they are spending bug reports and sponsoring work. They have also been supportive of Dr. Valdes efforts to cross the streams between WorldVista and Medsphere CIS.
Doyle argues that, rather than decay, I should interpret the layoffs as growing pains. He made a good case, and so I am now forced to eat a little crow (at least it is still warm).