VistA EHR Software

What is VistA EHR Software?


VistA EHR is a client/server interface for healthcare providers to review and update their patients’ medical records. Developed by the US Department of Veterans Affairs, it is one of the largest electronic health record systems by deployment in the world; providing clinical, administrative, and financial functions for all of the 1700+ hospitals and clinics of the VHA.

The system offers a comprehensive suite of features including an electronic medical record (EMR) interface, clinical decision support, order entry, pharmacy management, laboratory management, and radiology image management. 

Additionally, VistA offers a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model for organizations looking to deploy their own EHR system. With its open-source nature and wide range of capabilities, it has become a popular choice for many healthcare organizations looking to scale down costs and up efficiency.

What is VistA EHR best for?

VistA EHR is best used for managing patient records in a secure and efficient manner, and with the flexibility of an open-source code structure. Since it has been developed by a functionary of the US government, the program’s interface comes with the backing of an added layer of security (culminating in the risk of prosecution for any criminal breaches of patient information).

VistA EHR Cost/Pricing

The basic VistA EHR framework is free to use and can be accessed via the VA’s official website. 

Any turnkey arrangements using the base open-source framework, however, involving integrations and third-party solutions may come with separate costs.

To gain an idea of the ideal VistA EHR pricing setup (add-ons inclusive) that could work for your health setting, please click on the ‘Get Pricing’ button above.

VistA EHR Demo & Trial Offer

As mentioned, VistA EHR is freely accessible.

To see the software in action (in a prelude to how it might operate in your clinical space), please click on the ‘Watch Demo’ button above.

How does VistA EHR work?

VistA EHR open-source works on the host system or network operated by the deploying healthcare organization; with feeds synced via the internet.

To get working with the platform, here’s a rundown of the typical steps that a user would be required to take:

STEP 1: Familiarize yourself with the system 
Before getting started with VistA EHR, it is important to understand how it works and what features it offers. You can learn more about the system by reading its comprehensive manuals published on the VA dept’s official website or watching instructional videos/tutorials on YouTube.

STEP 2: Download the software
Once you gain some foundational understanding, you can download the software from the VA website or other sources online for local device/network installation.

STEP 3: Log in 
After downloading and installing VistA EHR, you will need to log in using the credentials provided by your organization or institution. Once logged in, you will be able to access all of its features and start working with the system right away.

Who is VistA EHR for?

VistA EHR is designed for a variety of medical settings, from large health systems to small ambulatory clinics. 

It is an ideal choice for healthcare providers who need to review and update patient records quickly and easily. The system provides a client/server interface that enables healthcare providers to access patient records from any location, allowing them to provide better care with fewer delays. Additionally, VistA's highly configurable system makes it easy to customize the software for different types of medical practices.

For larger health systems, the software can be used to manage all aspects of the organization's operations, including patient records, billing, scheduling, and more. It also offers features such as data mining and analytics that can help practices identify trends in their patient population and make informed decisions about their care. 

For smaller ambulatory clinics, VistA can be used to track key clinical conditions and provide detailed reports on patient visits.

Narrowly, the EHR, in addition to all general medicine settings, can be deployed in centers of:

  • Surgical care 
  • Family medicine 
  • Pain management 
  • Dermatology 
  • Psychiatry 
  • Radiology

VistA EHR Software Features

Here are the top five features of VistA EHR:

  • Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) 
    CPOE allows physicians to enter orders electronically into patients’ medical records. This helps reduce errors and improve accuracy in prescribing medications and treatments.
  • Laboratory Tests 
    VistA EHR includes modules for laboratory tests, such as blood work, urinalysis, and imaging studies. This helps streamline the process of ordering tests and getting results back quickly.
  • Patient Care Diet Orders The system includes modules for patient care diet orders, which help ensure that patients receive appropriate nutrition during their hospital stay or visit to a deploying clinic.
  • e-Prescribing The EHR features modules for e-prescribing, which allows physicians to send prescriptions electronically to pharmacies with just a few clicks. This helps minimize wait times at pharmacies and improves patient safety by reducing medication errors caused by illegible handwriting on paper prescriptions.
  • Internal Architecture
    The VA continues to enhance VistA's internal architecture, making it more efficient and reliable while also supporting a broader range of medical center functions.

Here’s a quick listing of the EHR’s prominent features in table form.

What’s included

  • Electronic Health Records (EHR)
  • Clinical Decision Support
  • Order Entry
  • Pharmacy Management
  • Lab Management
  • Radiology Reports Management
  • Open-Source Architecture
  • CPOE
  • ePrescribing
  • Patient Dietary Management
  • Medical Billing
  • Patient Appointment Scheduling
  • Patient/Practice Analytics & Trends

* This list is not exhaustive

How is VistA different from other EHRs? 

Unlike many other EHRs, VistA is not proprietary and can be modified to fit the needs of any healthcare organization. This allows for greater customization and flexibility when it comes to managing patient data. Additionally, the system is designed with an emphasis on scalability and interoperability, meaning that it can easily integrate with other systems and scale up or down as needed. 

Furthermore, VistA has been designed with security in mind, providing users with a secure platform for storing and sharing sensitive medical information.

Is VistA EHR Right for You? 

If you operate a small or large-scale medical practice on a budget and require an easily scalable, cost-free, EHR solution that provides secure physician-patient interaction capabilities, then VistA could be a good fit for your clinical space.

Ultimately, the best way to decide if the subscription is right for your practice is to schedule a demo. 

Alternatively, you could reach out to our friendly customer service team via the helpline number above to learn exactly how VistA EHR could work for your facility.

To further ease your decision, we’ve added a brief subscription pros and cons table below for your consideration.

VistA EHR Software Features






Patient Portal


Compliance Tracking


Practice Management Software


Patient Demographics


Lab Integration


Employee Management


Appointment Scheduling


Voice Recognition


Mobile App


Telemedicine Software


Appointment Reminders


Reporting and Analytics


Medical Billing Service


  • Large Data Management Capacity: VistA is designed to manage large amounts of patient data, making it well-suited for use in large healthcare organizations.
  • Integration Capabilities: The platform can integrate with other systems, such as laboratory and radiology applications, to improve data management and workflow.
  • Strong Security Features: VistA includes several security/encryption features that help to protect patient data from unauthorized access and breaches.


  • Complex System/Steep Learning Curve: VistA is a complex system, which may require a significant investment in staff training to ensure proper use.
  • Limited Vendor Support: The system is community-driven, and there may be limited vendor technical support available compared to commercial EHR systems (which offer quicker troubleshooting and other facilitation).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is VistA EMR free?

VistA EMR is freely available in the public domain via the US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

What does VistA stand for in the VA?

VistA stands for the ‘Veterans Health Information System Technology Architecture’. It is also known as the ‘VistA Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS)’.

Who developed or what parties developed the VistA and WorldVistA EHR?

VistA EHR has been developed – and continues to be maintained – by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

VistA EHR Software Pricing

Small Organization

Within Budget

Medium Organization

Within Budget

Large Organization

Within Budget

VistA EHR Software reviews

Overall Rating

21 Reviews


Support VistA=Support our Vets

April 2023

Jeremy H. Lane

Vets Welfare Resort, OK

Works great and without cost in our welfare center for military vets (who deserve the best). Recommended if you’re in the market for a no-nonsense and solid EHR.

Our go-to EHR for treating senior vets at our small-town practice

February 2023

Rachel L. Johnson

Freedom Vets Clinic, MI

Ever since the VA launched VistA back in 2019, we’ve been using the EHR to streamline our honorable vets treatments – from automating their prescription refills to communicating their records to other consultants with a click. And since the system is free, with pretty much every standard facility you could want from an open-source software, we don’t have to worry about the budget.
The VA should really consider working on the system interface. It’s powerful, sure/checks most of the boxes – but it looks like something from the 90s!

Too Early to Tell

April 2021


Kind Hearts LLC

The system is user-friendly and easy to customize according to patients needs. Scheduling has become easier with this software
No complaints so far, too early to recommend.


April 2021


USA Medical Clinic

I like how the system is easy to use and easy to manage for all the staff members.I also like how you can easily customise records according to each patient. I recommend this software to my fellow colleagues.
Not Applicable.

Customer Support Needs Improvement

April 2021


Services Health

The layout is straightforward and easy to understand. I especially like the billing and scheduling feature,it really helps speed things up for our company.
The customer support is of no value, they rarely respond let alone fix your problem or guide you.

A Good Experience

April 2021


Winfield Family Care

Overall, its a good software to have. Its user-friendly and easy to manage for beginners. The customer support is also satisfactory.
None of significance.


April 2021


Family HealthCare

I personally like its voice recognition feature, it really takes writing notes and making reports to the next level! Their updates are also very innovative.
Bad at customisation, honestly the biggest drawback. The customer service is also not very helpful and cooperative.


March 2021


Rise Private Clinic

We have no complaints. Our workflow is much better and we are able to manage all our activities from one software. Our information is also secure in the system.
Nothing bad to say about Vista.

Vista Review

March 2021


Galveston Medical Clinic

It has a lot of functionality for administrative as well as medical staff. The patient portal also works as advertised.
Takes some time to get used to it.

All good things

March 2021


Amson Medical Clinic

All the features are according to our liking and the ones that were not we customized easily. The customer service is so friendly we never feel embarassed when contacting them.

Bad customer service

March 2021


Bushville Health Clinic

The software gets your records organized and makes communication faster.
The customer service and technical support is of no help and we are often left stranded.

It has made a difference

March 2021


Winslow Adams MD

The software has affected our practice in a positive way and we are better able to facilitate patients in terms of appointments and billing.
VistA needs more options for customizing the dashboard view.

Its okay

March 2021


Worchest Family Care

We have been using this to keep our records electronically and it works fine. There is basic functionality.
We do not know how to change the options and customize it.


March 2021


Emory Health Services

It has a clean dashboard and creates customized workflows to help us manage everything we need with no external help.
The patient charts do not auto-save and we need to click every time which our doctors sometimes forget about.

Satisfactory services

March 2021


USC Medical Clinic

Their voice recognition feature makes it very easy to dictate notes or write reports.
Their customer service should add a chat feature because it is not always easy to get through on the phone.

Call us at

(661) 384-7070

Call us at

(661) 384-7070