The Growing OpenEMR Business Community

Peter GroenThe OpenEMR community has been very active over this past year.  This 'open source' electronic medical record (EMR) system continues to be enhanced by developers around the globe, the number of healthcare providers that have installed and begun using the system (over 15,000 sites world-wide) continues to grow, and a fairly robust business community of companies offering services and support is now in place.

Overview of OpenEMR

OpenEMR is a mature 'open source' electronic medical record (EMR) and practice management system that can run on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and many other platforms. OpenEMR is ONC Complete Ambulatory EHR Certified and is one of the most popular open source electronic medical records in use today. The system an be installed either on a single machine acting as a web-server in an office or on a hosted server. 

OpenEMR is by a strong community of volunteers and professionals all with the common goal of making OpenEMR a superior alternative to its proprietary counterparts. The OpenEMR community is dedicated to guarding OpenEMR's status as a free, open source software solution for medical practices and is dedicated to maintaining a spirit of openness, kindness and cooperation.

OpenEMR  can be used to track patient demographics, vitals, immunizations, medications, prescriptions, conditions, risk factors, visit clinical notes, and user specified variables.  Some of the many other functions or features include:

  • Patient and Insurance Balance on dash board
  • Highly configurable forms for all medical specialties
  • Previous encounter data flow
  • Support for CCD/CCR (Continuity of Care Documents/Records)
  • Billing Manager
  • Payment Gateways  (Authorize.NET, Intrix)
  • Patient Portal & Registration
  • Physician reminders
  • Management & Financial reports
  • Lab Interface With LabCorp / Quest 
  • E-prescription with Newcrop / Allscript / Drfirst

OpenEMR Business Community

The number of companies across the U.S. and around the world offering installation, hosting and support services for customers using OpenEMR continues to grow. For example, some of the OpenEMR solution providers can be found here

A number of these companies have been in the news lately.  For example, the following are some of the stories run by Open Health News about OpenEMR installations, organizations, and activities over the past year:

  • U.S. Peace Corps Adopted OpenEMR for use in 77 Countries WorldwideThe Peace Corps awarded a five-year contract to implement OpenEMR in its field offices around the world. They will use OpenEMR as the basis of an electronic medical record system to capture the healthcare delivered at each overseas post by Peace Corps Medical Officers (PCMOs) and U.S.-based Peace Corps clinical staff.
  • OpenEMR finalizing plans for the release of version 4.1.2 in September 2013.
  • Direct Project Integrated with OpenEMR. EMR Direct donated the code to integrate Direct Project messaging into OpenEMR.
  • ZH Healthcare made a Lab Interface service for the community version of OpenEMR as a monthly subscription.
  • ZH Healthcare also announced a new e-Prescription subscription and implementation services for OpenEMR, offering their e-Prescription (eRx) module for the community version of OpenEMR.
  • MI-Squared Dev Talks offers a variety of lessons on how to get started on developing and submitting changes to OpenEMR.
  • OpenEMR & Ophthalmologist's Meaningful Use Attestation  - Check out the 2013 Ophthalmologist's Meaningful Use (MU) Attestation that was recently posted on the OpenEMR site.
  • Siaya District Hospital in Kenya Goes Live With OpenEMR  - The Siaya District Hospital in Kenya has implemented OpenEMR with the help of Medigrail.

Finally, it has been estimated that there are more than 5,000 installations of OpenEMR in physician offices and other small healthcare facilities across the U.S. serving more than 30 million patients. Further, conservative estimates by the OEMR Organization indicate that OpenEMR is installed in over 15,000 healthcare facilities around the world, translating into more than 45,000 practitioners using the system serving approximately 90 million patients. 

As dissatisfaction with proprietary electronic health record (EHR) systems continues to spread amongst physicians, OpenEMR become an ever more attractive alternative to consider. Check out the Resource Section of Open Health News to find out about some of the other 'open source' EHR systems that are also available, e.g. VistA, RPMS, OpenMRS, OSCAR, HospitalOS, etc.


Updated 4/26/017: List of OpenEMR solution providers brought up to date.

Updated 3/5/2019: Created a new link for OpenEMR solution providers.

Updated 4/42/019