OpenMRS COVID-19 Response

Many of us have been following the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), especially now that it’s reached pandemic status - and find ourselves wanting to take more concrete action. This isn’t surprising: our mission is based on valuing patient care and we’ve come together as a community because we believe in this mission.

When it comes to COVID-19, acting in a way that reflects our values means assuring that we provide scientific-based guidance and tooling that will help slow or prevent the spread of COVID-19 and treatment for those who have contracted the virus. With OpenMRS housing over 12.5 million patient records in almost 5,500 sites, we are already well positioned to help countries expand their capacity to respond. If you haven’t already seen it, I encourage you to read more about our response on the OpenMRS blog - and continue reading here to learn about new developments and ways to contribute below.

Talk and our this week’s OpenMRS Office Hours are two of the places where people have already been sharing information and updates to date.

As a result, we’re narrowing down what we can do that complements other digital solutions emerging in the ecosystem. One possibility under discussion is building a form based on the CDC PUI and WHO case reporting guidance. This will entail:

  • Curating and determining appropriate form content through a proposal/review process
  • Making sure the dictionary concepts are appropriate
  • Gaining consensus on form structure
  • Building the form

Here’s what’s happening now:

  • A small group is coming together to rapidly design and build the form.
  • A #covid-19 Slack channel has been set up for this work
  • Meet early next week - look out for a Doodle Poll

Please check out the notes and meeting recording for additional detail.

Anyone in the community who is interested in joining this effort is welcome. Please be sure to join the Slack channel, call into any meetings, and follow the conversation on Talk!

@terry @akanter @ddesimone @hamish @ibacher @ddesimone @lober @paul @janflowers @burke @dkayiwa @wanyee @jdick @mseaton @mozzy @mogoodrich @ssmusoke @morrisng @aojwang


Here is a proposed data dictionary that @terry put together. It combines the WHO case report, CDC Person Under Investigation (PUI), and DHIS2’s spreadsheet.

Please share your feedback here or on #covid-19. LINK to LOINC terminology, FAQs and other terminologies for LOINC (does not include CIEL at this time). Please feel free to comment/engage in the covid slack channel.

There’s an OpenMRS Google Drive folder, open to anyone with the link, in case anyone wants a place to share COVID-19 materials.

Currently it has the WHO form, the US CDC Person Under Investigation form, and the Washington State (US) Case Investigation form, and some links.

Please do not create your own data dictionaries, if possible. We are working on a common dictionary using CIEL. If you want to help on this, let me know, but I’ll be posting the CIEL mapping on the google sheet and we should have a release of the CIEL dictionary shortly.


Thanks to everyone who joined us for our check in call today! Key takeaways and action items are below and more details can be found in the notes.

  • @terry and @akanter have been working with the CDC PUI and WHO case report form
  • @akanter will try release a new version of the CIEL dictionary shortly
  • @ibacher and @aojwang made progress with three forms - and will continue working on them:
    • Case reporting: identification and investigation
    • Clinical care
    • Travel and contact tracing
  • We need to identify aggregated data to push to DHIS2. @terry will share email exchange with DHIS2 with @akanter
  • @jennifer will work on an update for the website

We also identified and discussed several use cases where OpenMRS adds value, such as standardizing concepts, aggregating data, and in-facility treatment.

We’re scheduling another check in meeting for early next week. Please share your availability using this Doodle poll.

I put @akanter in touch with DHIS2 via email to see if we can ensure some semantic normalization of concepts. . @Jennifer we need to put something on the home page of the web site about our work. Thanks.

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I just posted another CIEL version to dropbox. @paynejd should also update OCL. A lot of good stuff in here.

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@mozzy Could you please update the mdsbuilder server with the latest CIEL concept dictionary? Or can you suggest another community member with access.

Much appreciated.


thansk @ball , ill surely update it


@jennifer, where can I find those use cases for COVID-19. I would like to see if I can be any help implement some of them. - Thanks.

Thanks to @hamish for his feedback. Our slider on the home page now points to a current update on a static page.

Here is a link to our current sprint, which focuses on three forms based on the CDC PUI form and WHO case reporting form.

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Well done!

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finished updating the server . You could confirm.

i used

cc @akanter


FYI, the build was broken for 2.x versions. Those have now been fixed and reposted to the dropbox. Please reload the MDSbuilder server with v2.

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i reloaded the server with v2 , thanks @akanter


@ibacher , was the work in response to Covid-19 packaged as a separate module ?? or rather they are forms that would live in some reff app module . some clarification . i need to see how i can bundle it in the reff app.

sorry i missed the PM call today

@ibacher , i have seen this module here , but amnot yet sure of its functionality. is it meant to load some kind of metadata for Covid-19 ?? i seem not to see any functionality yet. Havent yet tested it.

@mozzy So far, that module is just a placeholder. Do you need something to be able to export the COVID-related concepts as part of the RefApp? Per the conversation on the PM call (which I know you weren’t there for), while we want the COVID-related concepts, we don’t want to bundle the forms, etc. into the RefApp.

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i already Updated the MdsBuilder with the latest released CIEL dictionary which contains the COVID-19 related concepts. Ill build an Updated metadata package which includes COVID-19 related concepts and update the Reference-Metadata module.

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