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OpenMRS Implementers Meeting

Posted by ellenball on July 15, 2008

It was a great honor to attend the OpenMRS Implementers Meeting – 17-20 June 2008 at the Elangeni Hotel in Durban, South Africa.  It was my first OpenMRS meeting and also my first trip to Africa.

Monday was spent at an OpenRosa meeting which was moderated by our old friend and colleague, Neal Lesh.  This group has made great progress.  Here’s a description of OpenRosa:

OpenROSA is a consortium formed to create open source,
standards-based tools for mobile data collection, aggregation,
analysis, and reporting. By developing open source solutions and
conforming to standards based on the XForms specification, our
different projects can easily share code, data, ideas and
infrastructure.

The rest of the week was filled with OpenMRS.

The most interesting presentations were ones from the implementers — the ones from our own PIH team Jeremy Keeton for Lesotho, Christian Allen about synchronization with great graphics about doctors traveling by camel and many funny subliminal messages), Baobab (Mike McKay and Jeff Rafter), Millennium Village Project (Andy Kanter) and Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Haiti (James Arbaugh).  The many different uses of OpenMRS is fascinating and creative.  Albert Schweitzer has over 700K patients in OpenMRS!  MVP uses OpenMRS as a primary care system.

Two other presentations were valuable.  Ben Wolfe from Regenstrief Institute gave a demo of building odules. This was well timed since I was building my first module.  Too bad this wasn’t more of a hands-on lab class, but it was still very useful.  A panel discussion about the current concept dictionary, OpenMRS Concept Co-op (OCC), Terminology Service Bureau (TSB) and OpenEHR archetypes was a useful finale to a wonderful week.  This area needs attention, but hopefully additional resources will focus on this.  I’d like to do more work in both these areas.

It was great to meet so many active participants in the OpenMRS community and a once-in-a-blue opportunity to get the Partners In Health OpenMRS team together.

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