Open Source EMR’s – Free EMR?

Posted on January 31, 2006 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Many people in the medical industry probably don’t know too much about open source. They’ve probably heard of linux and they may have heard the words open source, but they don’t really know what that means. I don’t intend to explain open source here, because any search on google for open source will give you a plethora of information. If you don’t know how to do a google search on open source you probably shouldn’t use any open source product. For that matter I’m not sure you should do EMR at all, but I guess everyone could learn with the right motivation.

Back to my real intention for this post. I do hope to expose people interested in the idea of open source to some of the open source projects out there. I think one of the biggest problems is figuring out which one is best since a number of them are all competing for the same space. In the end, like many things in life 2 people could look at the same thing and see 2 different things. EMR is no different.

A Health Wiki has been started that gives a good basis for open source and lists a couple of major open source EMR projects and is a good place to start for those interested. Many of them build off of the other. For example, MirrorMed is built off of and shares code with OpenEMR and FreeMed. Maybe later I will investigate the difference in these products.

Finally, I think it is worth making mention that there are other Free EMR’s that are not open source. An example I found was LifeRecord which I found last night and it looks very interesting. You can find another list of free resources at EMRUpdate. On that list I like the progress I’ve seen with Al Borg’s EMR and Medscribbler.