Certified Open Source EHR

I’ve been writing about the various open source EHR software options for about 5.5 years right now. I’ve been intrigued with open source for much longer, so it just made natural sense for one of the first things for me to look at would be the various open source EHR options.

5.5 years ago the open source EHR market (although EHR really wasn’t in vogue yet back then) had a solid foundation, but still had quite a ways to go for it to be a great option for doctors interested in an open source EHR option.

I haven’t done an in depth look at the various open source EHR options for a while (I should), but I think the fact that many open source EHR software are now certified EHR and can help physicians show meaningful use and receive EHR incentive money is a good sign. Most of you know that I’m not a big fan of EHR certification, but I do believe that EHR certification takes a certain level of commitment to be able to achieve. Therefore, I think it’s a great sign that the open source EHR options have enough steam and commitment behind them to become certified EHR.

A recent Open Health News post listed the following certified open source EHR:
Ambulatory Open Source EHR
Tolven eCHR
Vista (inpatient) Open Source EHR
WorldVistA EHR
Other (inpatient) Open Source EHR
Indian Health Services’ RPMS

I’d love to hear reviews and experiences that people have working with open source EHR software.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • OpenDolphin. Japanese open source EMR, which can be a gate of RHIO
    NOA Project. Developed by Japanese gynecologist (the first geek in Japanese doctor, now over 60 years)

    ORCA project. Japan medical association has been developed medical accounting/billing system as an open source software project in this decade. This system, based Ubuntu has been adopted more than 10,000 medical providers.

  • Shinji,
    Thanks for stopping by and sharing the international perspective. That’s greatly appreciated. I love learning more about the global EHR effort.

    There’s a bit of a language barrier for me on the site, but thanks to Chrome’s built-in translation I could get the basic gist of the websites.

    How widespread do you think the adoption of these open source EHR solution is in Japan?

  • Thank you for your concern.
    I think ORCA project was a great impact for us 10 years ago, it was incredible project at that time.
    JMA (maybe other *MA also) is a very conservative.. yes not flexible to adopt OSS. A researcher of JMARI(JMA research institute), Tomohiro Ueno did great contribution to begin ORCA project.
    Before ORCA project, billing/accounting software for clinics was very expensive, 3 to 5 million yen to deploy, 100-500 thousand yen/year for maintenance. ORCA system reduced such cost as reasonable level. Now we can use cloud version of ORCA system by 1/10 yen. Even other proprietary software has discounted ORCA level.
    However, clinicians are conservative in technology. They want big vendor’s qualified support to use EMRs.
    JMARI has labeled qualified vendor for ORCA by examination and provide such vendor information for members on the Internet. Therefore, member of JMA(even non-member) choose OSS for their business with qualified vendor support. Yes, some geek(OTAKU) doctors have setup by their selves ORCA and related EMRs. They costomise ORCA and EMRs for their clinics. quite innovative.
    Regional software vendors are necessary for widespreading, but to organise and qualify such vendors had been difficult at first break out.

  • Standard ORCA system cost:
    1million yen/deploy(includes hardware, printer)
    100-200 thousand yen/year maintenance.(includes hardware warranty)
    Cloud ORCA
    0.35million yen/deploy(no hardware)
    300thousand yen/year for maintenance.

  • Shinji,
    Very interesting perspective. I’ve been considering going to a hospital EMR and HIT conference in Asia next year. This is good information to know as I consider dipping into the international EHR world a little bit.

    I wish I could help, but haven’t tried it myself. If the sourceforge forum doesn’t respond it might say something about the activity on the open source project (or lack therof). Would be a good thing to know if you want o use Tolven.

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