OpenMRS which stands for Open Medical Records System is a collaborative open source project to develop excellent software to support the delivery of health care in developing countries. It grew out of the critical need to scale up the treatment of HIV in Africa but from the start was conceived as a general purpose electronic medical record system that could support the full range of medical treatments such as diabetes, malaria, tuberculosis, diarrhoea, cholera, etc.
It is Open source because it was developed by an international team of volunteer software developers, physicians, data clerks, health management staffs and government officials with decades of experience in the medical practice to find an inexpensive solution to health needs in the developing countries, where government has merge resources to solve mounting healthcare needs, that compares with health solutions in the developed countries like United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Israel.
The system is designed to be usable in very resource poor environments and can be modified with the addition of new data items, forms and reports without extensive programming coupled with the fact that it is highly adaptable to the local environment based on the requirement specifications for such facilities. It is intended as a platform that many organizations can adopt and modify avoiding the need to develop a software system from scratch which can be a very expensive financial burden for developing economies without jeopardizing effectiveness. The OpenMRS is an implementation of the eHealth paradigm.
The concept of the eHealth has the following supports, each of which can be incorporated into the modules in the OpenMRS because of the front-end (Java Enterprise Edition) and backend(MySQL) platforms upon which the OpenMRS is built. eHealth is a relatively recent term for healthcare practice which is supported by electronic processes and communication. The term can encompass a range of services that are at the edge of medicine/healthcare and information technology:
1. Electronic Health Records
3. Consumer Health Informatics
4. Health knowledge management
5. Virtual Health teams
7. Medical Research uses eHealth Grid
8. Healthcare Information Systems