Relationship of OpenMRS regarding legislation


I was wondering if there is any documentation or research related to how OpenMRS relates to legislation/regulations concerning the handling, storage and archival of electronic patient records in various countries?


Been wondering this myself. Are there certifications that MRS software has to pass?

I’m interested in this too, and this is not my area of expertise at all so I’m looking around :smile:

This mailing list discussion on CCHIT certification in the United States may be relevant. Sounds like OpenMRS has not yet been vetted to comply with US meaningful use standards set under the HITECH Act. I would presume that US regulations are fairly similar to those in other developed nations.

I also found this interesting quote from Fred Trotter and David Uhlman’s book Hacking Healthcare:

…what is amazing about OpenMRS are not its backers but rather its implementers. The project’s codebase is almost entirely engineered by geeks who are on the ground in the various countries where it is deployed. OpenMRS has a simple technology rule. If a technology choice does not support its “grown locally” development model, another option is chosen. It has been successfully installed in hundreds of clinics all over the world.

Ironically, it can be argued that the OpenMRS EHR model is one of the best available in any Open Source solution, precisely because the project has no interest in being deployed within the United States (although this has not stopped several U.S. installations). While OpenMRS is utterly unconcerned with the Meaningful Use standards in the US, it is also has no interest in billing subsystems, CPT codes, ICD codes, or any of the other health IT anchors imposed by the United States healthcare system. As a result, the OpenMRS project is free to pursue whatever technological/clinical design actually works on the ground. In a moment of project Zen, OpenMRS has achieved real meaningful use precisely by ignoring the meaningful use standards. Its impact on the health IT space outside the United States can hardly be understated.

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Expanding on the thoughts from Fred Trotter in his book, and the other comments here …

As part of our OpenMRS community value of being user-centered, our work (and indeed, our priorities) is driven by real, not perceived needs. This means that we’re not opposed to working collectively to meet the demands and requirements of any country.

However, our current community does not seem to have a focus on implementing OpenMRS in the United States, therefore, it’s not been a priority for us – especially when the US represents a relatively small percentage of the world that doesn’t have good access to health care. (Insert stats on doctors per capita, et al, here.)

Others here may disagree, but this is the way I’ve always seen the answer to the question of “will OpenMRS certify itself for the US”.

Now, on the other hand, legislation and national standards regarding Health IT is starting to become a real thought in many of the countries in which we have implementations. Others in our community such as @paul or people working on the OpenHIE health information exchange initiative might have more direct first-hand knowledge about this.