Baker IDI Clinical Research Domain in Australia

Dear OpenMRS Talk community,

This communication is to open a new topic on the use of OpenMRS in a clinical research institute in Australia following my citing of the following publication to a Professor Tom Marwick here in Tasmania.

A Standards-Based Architecture Proposal for Integrating Patient mHealth Apps to Electronic Health Record Systems

Research Article:

S. Marceglia (1, 2), P. Fontelo (1), E. Rossi (3), M. J. Ackerman (1) (1) Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD 20994, USA; (2) Clinical Center for Neurostimulation, Neurotechnology, and Movement DisordersFondazione IRCCS Ca’Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy; (3) eHealthLAB, Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy. Appl Clin Inform 2015 6 3: 488-505

The reasons for posting this today with the contact details of the two relevant people associated with this communication is that I am about to depart for a 3-4 month conference-sabbatical leave to Santiago, Chile after MEDINFO. It would be of enormous assistance if the OpenMRS Talk group can interact with Professors Tome Marwick and Graeme Maguire on this topic.

The emails involve the Directors of two major health research institutes in Australia and the publication has elicited their interest in the use of OpenMRS for their research activities.

Professor Tom Marwick has worked in the Cleveland Clinic and has been aware of OpenMRS and my involvement for several years. Tom is to become the Director of the Baker Institute in 2016 and Professor Graeme Baker is the current Head of the Baker-IDI clinics.

Professor Thomas H Marwick Director-Designate - Baker IDI
Victoria 3004, Australia

Based on Tom’s initial feedback I responded with:

“I have taken the liberty to share your communications with the senior “executive” of the OpenMRS consortium and I hope to receive feedback overnight. Some of them are in Ghana for a meeting. In the meantime there are Demo versions of the system for STANDALONE and ENTERPRISE versions of OpenMRS on the web.”

I have also communicated with one of the authors Michael Ackerman (who I have known for many years), about the responses to the ACI publication (no response yet).

Here are Tom’s comments to Graeme following a reply from me that are relevant to the OpenMRS group.

One thing I was very impressed with in Cleveland was the power of a fully electronic medical record. It has clear benefits in terms of data gathering and especially so in research. However, the cost of proprietary systems is truly mind-boggling.

From my own standpoint, there are two special aspects; 1) for clinical trials, there is no better system for recording times of activities, 2) for registries, I’m attracted to the possible integration of mHealth Apps for HF but I guess any chronic disease (scroll the bottom of this chain)

Terry Hannan has a long background of medical informatics at Hopkins and has been involved in the application of an Open Source DMR in the 3rd world. I think this may be worth a look for us and would be interested in your thoughts.

Here are today’s comments from Professor Maguire following my initial communications with him re OpenMRS:

Dear Tom and Terry

I think a systematic discussion in this area for Baker IDI is opportune given the opportunity afforded by our existing system going the way of the dinosaur.

From a Baker IDI and external stakeholder perspective we should prioritise the following functional elements in any EMR (and assume there will be others):

  1. Provision of all the usual EMR functionality for individual consultative and investigational services (electronic history, core data fields, booking, billing, data retention and security etc)
  2. Register and recall – particularly for chronic disease follow-up in a multidisciplinary model of care
  3. Information sharing – with external stakeholders including patient, PHC, hospitals (including Alfred Hospital)
  4. Quality assurance activities
  5. Research data linkage (including to MBS and NDI)
  6. Activity reporting for clinical service funding agencies
  7. Query capability to allow identification of potential research participants My experience has always been there is no perfect system. Better therefore to prioritise what you want and compromise or identify parallel systems with inter-functionality to allow linkage for the elements one systems can’t support.

From my perspective I think 4, 5 and 7 will be key attributes that might not be key selling points for existing corporate EMRs and would be really interested in seeing how we could link with international standards and open source platforms. The benefits for future international collaboration in our clinical, health services and population health research (including my focus on building our global indigenous health platform) should also be considered.

Kind regards Graeme

Professor Graeme Maguire
Head - Baker IDI Clinical Research Domain Victoria 3004, Australia