OSEHRA Adopts New Membership Structure

Desereé JohnstonAt the Open Source Electronic Health Record Alliance (OSEHRA), we have always been committed to the needs and desires of the open source community.  Over the years we have embraced community input by improving our website, our events, and our services.  Recently, we made another improvement--as of November 1, OSEHRA has a new dues structure for membership.

We have adopted this new structure based upon requests from our community to transition from a revenue-based system to a benefits-based system of choice.  Over time, we have received numerous comments regarding the inflexibility of the membership structure and the lack of correlation between dues paid and benefits received. OSEHRA's original corporate membership structure was based on revenue, and it provided only one choice for potential members – join or don't join. Further, the voting power and benefits associated with the top corporate membership tier were exactly the same as those of individual memberships despite a sizable difference in cost.

To ensure that we best met the needs of our community, we analyzed the membership structures of other leading healthcare organizations including the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), Health Level 7 (HL7), and Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE).  We preserved the best features of our former structure and added enhancements certain to benefit our members and the community.    

It has been clear for some time that OSEHRA needs more revenue from membership, and that requires a way to tie revenue to the value proposition. This need, combined with positive feedback on the new membership scheme following a meeting of current members, led the OSEHRA Board of Directors to implement a new structure, effective November 1, 2015.  Note that the membership previously called Corporate is now being referred to as Organizational. This title change emphasizes that the new categories of membership are available to all groups, including corporations, nonprofits, and local, state, or federal government agencies.  Additionally, this membership restructuring involves a change in the dues for General Members from $90/year to $500/year. 

Current OSEHRA Members, and those currently in the renewal process, will be grandfathered into the new scheme for the remainder of their current annual membership, and expiration dates will remain unchanged.  We recognize that this is a significant increase in dues for our General Members, and we hope our current General Members will choose to continue to benefit from their full voting membership.  If not, we are confident that all will continue to be active in the OSEHRA community as Associate Members.  Associate Membership, which allows website access and full participation in OSEHRA Groups and activities, remains free to everyone. 

We hope the open source community is as excited about the new structure and its potential as we are.  As we expand and embrace our role as the premier open source health organization, improvements will continue.  OSEHRA will remain as dynamic as the open source community we support.  Further details about membership are provided on our website (https://www.osehra.org/content/joining-osehra), and you may contact me at johnstond@osehra.org with any questions about joining OSEHRA!