Application Name: Reference Application Version Number: 2.2
Question: Vent: I’ve been digging into OpenMRS for over a week now looking towards a potential implementation and I hardly feel any further in really understanding how it might fit our needs. Trying to understand the different versions of the platform, the state of various add-ons and OWA’s, and the “actual” core of what any of it is, continues to elude me. I’m a well-seasoned software developer with a healthy respect for what’s being done here. I love the underlying database foundation, and what appears to be a strong API. I’m confused between the reference web interface and the legacy UI, and the many add-ons/OWA’s that appear to augment it. From what I can tell, the UI with the tabs is the legacy UI and no longer supported, and the more modern looking UI (blocks for vitals, conditions, etc.) should be the current one. I’m confused at how spartan the application is. I can’t do lab orders, drug orders, treatment plan, programs, basic chief complaint, really anything beyond the most basic vitals and diagnosis code. There’s an “admin to inpatient” button that throws an exception, and no evidence of actual inpatient support (ongoing orders, nursing plan). Then I see a large number of add-ons that appear as though they might augment these basic features, but they literally never actually do what I think they will. My most recent frustration is with orderentry-1.1.0. It seems trivial to install it, and it shows up right away in the list of OWA’s. It doesn’t show up anywhere though except in the list of OWA’s. If I click it in that list, it bounces me to login. It actually logs me out. After some digging around, I learned that I need to create some global properties. I added those, but no change. After looking through the network XHR calls, I could see it was failing due to lack of a patient ID. No way to invoke it from the patient though. Then, looking through the server console, I saw it was throwing an exception on a property that wasn’t mentioned anywhere (orderentryowa.labOrderAutoExpireTimeInDays). I added that (assuming it was numeric), but it stubbornly refuses to do anything. I suppose it’s open-source so I can create an admin UI for the module so it’s clear what configuration is needed, but I’m not to that point yet in understanding the code base. I’m approaching a point where I need to make a recommendation on go or no-go with OpenMRS vs proprietary. Every feature list I see (and from reading through the very nice wiki) it seems to tick most of the boxes we want, but if I can’t make any of it actually work, I can’t offer it as an option.
Plea: I understand that it’s a project where I can’t reasonably expect free support, but if we are able to leverage it, we would almost certainly be contributing right back since we know there would be a decent amount of functionality that we would be developing for our needs that would have broader applicability. I really want to avoid the proprietary route as much as possible but I need a little help at this stage, and just asking questions on the forum isn’t enough. Is there anyone who might be willing to chat with me a little bit to discuss our needs and help me with this evaluation? It would be greatly appreciated.
I hope I don’t come across as disrespectful. I know that many people have made incredible contributions to something that’s sorely needed, especially in the developing world. I’d love to be part of making it even better.