URGENT: OpenMRS and Access to COVID-19 EHR

Hello, firstly I would like to ask is there an email I can reach out to for OpenMRS because I am a first time user and wanted help with a few things

I am a junior undergraduate college student, currently in a remote research fellowship program, working an a project I developed that I was interested in. The project’s aim is to conduct a cross correlational study investigating how the novel coronavirus infection SARS-CoV-2, might underline the Kawasaki disease path genesis seen in young children across the United States.

The methodology aspect of my research would essentially require me to have access to electronic health records from a Children’s hospital. Given EHR data can be very messy and quite large to handle. Plus, there can be a long turnover time to get access to RWE (real-world evidence), I heard about OpenMRS and was wondering if this would be an alternative.

So essentially, my question is could you please help explain how this database works. Does it provide real health record data in the US and do you think I will be able to study a few COVID-19 and Kawaski disease cases with this database?

If so, could you please help clarify the exact steps I need to take to get started. I was navigating the site but got quite lost and confused and didn’t even where to begin. I don’t know which apps I need to download on my computer so if you could please specify that. Also, do I need to get an approved login to access the data, or how does HIPAA, privacy, and research play a role in this.

Look forward to hearing from you soon!

Hi there, Sounds like an interesting research project! However I’m confused about how you hope OpenMRS to help give you access to research data, unless you are planning to roll out OpenMRS to multiple sites and either port data over or actually implement it as an EMR at those care sites. We do have sample data for our Reference App distribution but this is not meant to be representative of real patient data / pop health data; rather, to support with demo-ing / getting to know the product.

So think of OpenMRS as an EMR itself (though it’s designed to need a lot of configuration to set up for sites’ needs), with the database model supporting data collection and storage, but we don’t have real patient data available for the public to explore - for obvious reasons :wink:

As a side note - eventually what would be awesome is for us to use a differentiated privacy approach to generating a large fake patient database that is statistically representative of population health / demographics in the use cases where OpenMRS is most often used. This would help with QA and workflow testing prior to go-lives, and would have intriguing data science applications. But we’re not there yet :slight_smile:

(@dkayiwa did I miss or mis-represent anything?)

You did a good job! :slight_smile:

And just in case: https://wiki.openmrs.org/display/RES/Demo+Data

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If you are interested in research and don’t have your own data, you might look into the OHDSI.ORG site since they have been doing federated research globally around COVID-19.

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