Estimated cost to implement and use OpenMRS in small hospital.

Hi. I am thinking about implementing OpenMRS in a 100 bed hospital. Does anyone have any idea of the cost required in doing this? Anyone have any relevant experiences? Just a ballpark estimate is fine.

Ideally I would Implement it as the clinical information system for everything from patient registration, point of care tool, labs, imaging, etc.

There isn’t an easy answer about cost even if you expanded your description. Some things to consider:

  • Do you need infrastructure? Power? Internet? Computers? Tablets? Desks? Chairs? Printers? PACS? Lab equipment? Supplies (labels, id cards, paper, ink, etc)?
  • Do you need installation and support staff? Developers? Implementers? IT? MEQ?
  • What do you expect from the system? Is this point-of-care?
  • How much customization of OpenMRS?
  • What process to train new users and ongoing data excellence?

Thanks for the reply.

I understand it is a very, very vague question. Here is the background: I just ran into the executive in charge of health IT in the territory, they are having budget issues with regards to implementing an electronic system in a new hospital currently being built. We are having beers tonight to talk about health IT stuff and I would like to pitch him OpenMRS. I just want even a vague ballpark of cost because I think that will help to convince him to look into OpenMRS more.

Here is some context:

Basically, I am working in the North West Territories of Canada. Even though we are in Canada we face the same issues that most of the developing world faces: remote fly-in-only locations, poor infrastructure, significant social issues in some communities, shoe string budgets, lack of primary care, lack of specialist services. 100 bed hospital. Catchment population of the territory is less than 60,000 patients, approximately 60 physicians and other primary care providers using the system. Unknown number of additional nurses, lab, clerks, etc would be using the system.

  • assume that all infrastructure already exists and is paid for: computers, servers, desks, chairs, PACS, lab, printers, etc. All that is missing is the software

  • Ideally would be used by admin clerks to register and move patients, nurses to record vitals, medications, progress notes, etc. Physicians to do orders, document. Also Allied health (social workers, physio, occupational therapy) for documentation and orders. Integration of labs.

  • Implementation, IT staff, develops would all be needed. These roles actually already exist in the territory for existing health IT systems and they likely would be able to handle the additional capacity of any new system.

Is this a million dollar project? 5 million? 25 million?

Any ballpark ideas? Anyone with similar experiences using in similar settings?



FYI the reason you haven’t gotten any responses here is that this is pretty far outside the experiences that people on these lists have. Most people here work Global South projects, rather than resource limited areas of the Global North.

I know this is past your “beers tonight” deadline…

My complete WAG is that you could do this for <=$5M, and this would cover both software development work as well as customization. (I can’t speak to costs of achieving or certifying Canadian regulatory compliance.)

You might also peek at the Bahmni distribution of OpenMRS, which is likely closer to the starting point you want. (It would also require dev work, but probably less.)

-Darius (by phone)

Thanks for the reply Darius.

To be honest, I was amazed to even get one response! I have been lurking on here for a few years and knew it was way outside of the normal scope of discussion, but didn’t know where else to ask.

Anyways, I had beers with the guy and pitched him openMRS and walked him through the openMRS and Bahmni demos. He was definitely interested and were are going to talk about it more. Who knows where it will go (more than likely it will go nowhere) but he was impressed.

Thanks so much for the reply!