As a kid I got mumps and stayed home from school with swollen glands; today there is the MMR vaccination for children fortunate to live in developed countries.
I am not writing about the disease though, rather the programming language used to create electronic medical record software, for example: VISTA and EPIC. This is another assignment from my class, Healthcare Informatics – the University of California, Davis.
If you were writing a new Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software solution today, would you use MUMPS, which is admittedly widely deployed?
Those in favor might argue:
- MUMPS is the language used by existing EMR deployments from large established EMR vendors,
- The MUMPS database does not waste disk space as it uses sparse arrays and B-trees queries are faster than indexed relational databases.
- MUMPS based EMR systems installed today are stable and reliable.
I posit no, because:
- Where would you find MUMPS programmers today? Are new college graduates proficient in MUMPS or JAVA/C++ ?
- How would you interface with other EMRs today? Interoperability is the one of the biggest challenges between healthcare systems today and creating a new EMR system based on older non-standards approaches will not result in an interoperable system.
- Rather than run a MUMPS based system on large monolithic hardware, a new EMR system could be written on distributed highly available hardware.