How OpenMRS is helping the Healthcare System in Developing Countries?
A healthcare system can only be successful in a developing country if it is able to satisfy the needs of several stakeholders. It is imperative for the healthcare system to serve the patients first and then others such as researchers, clinicians, hospitals, insurance and government organizations.
Many efforts were made in the developing countries to create an effective Electronic health record (EMR) that somehow covers the needs of each group. However, most efforts were entirely dismissed and some were not able to meet the needs of one concerned party or the other. This is where OpenMRS came out to help out developing countries that are devastated by epidemics of severe proportions. Actually, OpenMRS was created at a dire time to scale up the treatment of HIV in Africa. At first, it was just considered an EMR system that had a general purpose and could well support the full range of medical treatments. Over the years, OpenMRS has developed into a reliable healthcare system that has recorded millions of patients’ records all over the world.
What is OpenMRS?
It is an open source medical record system that was created in 2004 to support the fragile delivery of healthcare in developing countries. Given that it was created on the principles of sharing of ideas and openness, it is designed in such a way that it can be modified with new forms, reports or data items without the use of programming. This means that OpenMRS can be easily adopted by many organizations in developing countries as it can be modified and there is no need to develop the software from scratch.
Role of OpenMRS in Developing Countries
Health Information Technology (Health IT) is the infrastructure and technology that is used to record, analyze and share patient’s health record. Health IT helps by supporting the recording of patient data. With the recording of patient data that has lest medical errors, the healthcare delivery has certainly improved and it has also enabled the analysis of acquired information to be used by both healthcare practitioners and ministry of health/government agencies. However, the non-availability of Health IT in developing countries was one of the reasons for lack of proper treatment and prevention of diseases. As there was a critical need for affordable and reliable medical record management software in low and middle-income countries (LMIC), OpenMRS was created to meet the specific healthcare needs of developing countries. Initially, OpenMRS was first deployed in Eldoret, Kenya in 2006. The same year it was deployed in Rwanda and South Africa. By 2010, OpenMRS was already deployed in over 23 developing countries. Today, it is used around the world in developing countries, including South Africa, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, Tanzania, India, the Philippines, and many other places.
The use of OpenMRS in developing countries has certainly helped in improving the quality of healthcare delivery. It has increased patient safety, decreased medical errors, and most importantly, it has helped in strengthening the relationship between healthcare providers and patients. As the software is specifically designed for low-resource environments, it is completely free to use. Moreover, the community of OpenMRS works with the collaboration of senior medical and healthcare staff, software developers, and over 1,200 volunteers from over 60 countries in the world to support better health care in developing countries.
How TekMindz is Playing its Role?
We comprehend that the healthcare industry is going through a massive transformation due to the ongoing digital revolution. It has become important for healthcare organizations to move away from their fee-for-service model to a more personalized, affordable, and patient-centric connected health care services. We help healthcare organizations and governments by leveraging some of the most effective open source platforms and frameworks, in particular, OpenMRS.