OpenMRS is a global community of over 1,200 volunteers from over 60 different countries and is the backbone of the software. Developers from all over the world contribute code to the reference application as well as provide technical support to their local implementing clinics. The OpenMRS community brings together software developers from around the globe with a wide range of skill sets to work collaboratively to develop the software to support health care in these areas. In addition, the community has a large pool of senior medical and healthcare staff, who are also informaticians, to mentor and guide the design of that software. Lastly, we engage organizations, implementers and health care team members from those areas that need our software to provide input into the design and the prioritization of features.
The online forum, called OpenMRS Talk, is where our community discusses projects, ideas, and technical problems in order improve our software and community. Talk is a free resource for any implementer or developer to access the community for technical assistance and troubleshooting.
The OpenMRS community came together to specifically respond to those actively building and managing health systems in the developing world, where AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria a ict the lives of millions. OpenMRS is a patient-centric medical record application that records the details of interactions between healthcare providers and patients. Information is stored in a way that makes it easy to summarize and analyze, minimizing the use of free text and maximizing the use of coded information. The software gathers a patient’s treatment details into a single patient chart. Having this complete patient history available in one place empowers clinicians to make better decisions about care, while also enabling a deeper analysis of patient health in order to draw more meaningful conclusions on improving outcomes.
The community consists of health informatics professionals, over 160 software developers, and health information systems implementers from around the globe. Our community has a wide range of skill sets and experience, including some who have been in this field for 15-20 years and others who just joined yesterday and this is their first software programming experience. We have a number of senior-level programmers who work on the core products, managing code contributions for relevance and quality. We pride ourselves on our ability to have engage new community members and help them find productive ways to contribute while more experienced members have the opportunities to lead projects, join the management team, and more. We participate in multiple technical mentoring outreach programs to reach students from around the world who are interested in creating health software for the underserved. In addition, we partner with a number of organizations that provide in-kind contributions from their own technical staff.