This is a quick overview of OpenMRS created for a speed geeking (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_geeking) session
OpenMRS was created in response to HIV/AIDS. Indiana University School of Medicine had been collaborating with Moi University Faculty of Health Sciences (Eldoret, Kenya) for over a decade when their focus, by necessity, turned toward the HIV pandemic.
And existing systems were overburdened and getting pushed beyond their capacity.
But patients like Musa, who you’ve already met, showed that HIV was a treatable disease. The problem wasn’t how to treat HIV, but how to scale that up to 100,000 and millions of patients. That kind of scale could only be obtained through effective information management.
We looked around and saw many well-intentioned, but siloed efforts. And we couldn’t find any freely available system capable of meeting our requirements. So, we decided to build one.
Our mentor, Dr. Clem McDonald, told us it couldn’t be done; but we were to stubborn to admit he was right. Fortunately, we were introduced to Partners in Health and realized they were using the same technologies, trying to solve the same problem in Rwanda. It was perfect timing, and we realized that we might be able to make the impossible possible by collaborating on a shared EMR. While we were focused only on building something to meet our needs in our Kenya and Rwanda sites, we decided to do everything openly … and OpenMRS was born.
We started with the data model; the foundation for the entire system. We carefully avoided putting anything disease-specific into the data model and shared it with anyone who would look at it and offer criticism.
And, very importantly, we created a modular architecture that allows people to customize the system to meet their needs without having to change the core.
We caught the eye and interest of several generous and helpful organizations.
Our community grew. Here are some pictures from our first three annual OpenMRS Implementers Meetings.
In September 2009, we held our 4th annual OpenMRS Implementers Meeting in Cape Town, South Africa. Getting everyone to pose as an OpenMRS logo was fun.
OpenMRS Implementation sites continue to pop up around the world.
We’ve built a web-based EMR atop the OpenMRS platform to serve our community’s needs, but that doesn’t prevent other things to be built atop the API.
So, OpenMRS is an EMR, a data model (some folks have chosen to simply use our data model and build their own system), an API, an HIV system, a TB system, a Primary Care system, a strong developer community, and a vibrant implementer community. We’re all in this together.
And we’ve already seen evidence of the flexibility of a platform approach. Folks in Maryland have wired a different primary care system atop the OpenMRS API, so docs work within another system, but all data are stored within an instance of OpenMRS. Shaun Grannis developed a disease surveillance system using OpenMRS. In Skid Row of Los Angeles, OpenMRS is being used to manage data for homeless patients with TB. And Paul’s pediatric decision support system has been rebuilt and now runs within OpenMRS.
What is OpenMRS(in 3 minutes)? Burke Mamlin, MD