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COSTAR was a predecessor of VistA. It was developed with federal funds and released to the public domain, but received little if any federal support after that -- only users' groups. It is little remembered, although hardy users continue to rely on it today. A commercialized version is available from (here).

  • History of MUMPS Neil Papallardo and Dr. Octo Barnett's team at Massachussetts General Hospital wrote MUMPS in 1966.
  • History of EMR's -- The intent was to implement an electronic medical Record, initially named COSTAR -- Computer-Stored Ambulatory Record
  • As of 2004 COSTAR still had hundreds of user sites around the world.
  • Early studies of EMR effectiveness Barnett published several studies starting in the 1970's on COSTAR, showing that computer-generated reminders could improve clinical measures such as Treatment rates for strep throat, followup of abnormal blood pressures, and compliance with standards for syphilis care and lithium prescribing. University of Nebraska showed improvement in some measures, and interestingly, found that two particular attending professors produced residents with much better compliance scores than the others.