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OpenMRS logo.png
Developer(s) OpenMRS Community
Initial release May 8, 2007 (2007-05-08) (1.1)[1]
Stable release

2.12.0  (October 25, 2021; 2 years ago (2021-10-25))

Preview release none [±]
Written in Java
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Laboratory informatics software
License(s) OpenMRS Public License 1.1

OpenMRS is a free open-source health informatics software platform that allows users to self-customize an electronic medical record (EMR) system without needing to know a programming language. The modular platform is built around a scalable conceptual database structure, with the advantage of being independent of any particular type of medical data or data collection form. The system also features an application programming interface (API) and web front-end to allow for more customization and easier deployment.[2]

Product history

OpenMRS grew out of the critical need to scale up the treatment of HIV in Africa in part by utilizing "coordinated, scalable, and flexible information systems."[3] The seeds of OpenMRS originated with Paul Biondich and Burke Mamlin from the Regenstrief Institute in Indiana. Biondich and Mamlin were working as consultants in early 2004, tasked with scaling up a Microsoft Access-based informatics system in western Kenya. They first thought to repurpose the MOSORIOT Medical Record System (MMRS), but expanding patient loads strained its capabilities. It was then they decided to create a vocabulary-based electronic medical record (EMR) from scratch, creating design mockups the week they were there.[4] In September 2004, a mutual friend connected the duo with Hamish Fraser during the Medinfo conference in San Francisco. Fraser — who was working on scaling up Partners in Health' EMR at the time with plans on implementing it in Haiti and Rwanda — decided there was enough overlap in goals to partner with Biondich and Mamlin towards a similar goal. From that OpenMRS was born as an open-source project hosted online.[4][3]

By the summer of 2005 the development team had a rough version of the software ready for a presentation in Kenya, where they received constructive feedback from other developers about how to better the software. On February 14, 2006 the team had a stable version of OpenMRS running in Kenya as an unofficial version 1.0. release.[4] This led to developer hirings, creation of an LLC, and the utilization of help from Google's Summer of Code event. A more official version 1.1 of OpenMRS was released on May 8, 2007[1], quickly followed by additional contributions from Summer of Code developers like Zach J. Elko in the form of creating an official installer application for the OpenMRS software.[5]

In April 2008, the OpenMRS team was contacted by the members of the OpenELIS open-source project[6]. Weeks of discussions led to an agreement to not only create an OpenELIS developer community but also to the potential connecting of OpenELIS with OpenMRS.[6] In April 2009, OpenMRS developer Darius Jazayeri won the Antonio Pizzigati Prize for Software in the Public Interest, recognized because "his work dramatically demonstrate[d] just how powerful an impact open source computing can have on people's daily lives."[7]

Version 2.0 of the software, which featured a new user interface, was released on February 26, 2014.[8]


Features of OpenMRS include[2]:

  • a "concept dictionary" which defines the name, code, and appropriate attributes for any observations or data collected
  • user-based security
  • patient management
  • workflow management
  • cohort management
  • document management
  • customized electronic forms
  • data import and export
  • HL7 compliance
  • flexible reporting
  • modularity
  • multi-language support

Hardware/software requirements

Hardware requirements will vary based upon the intended size of your implementation.

Additional requirements include:

  • a browser, preferably Firefox
  • Java Runtime Environment 1.6
  • Tomcat 6.0.29
  • MySQL latest stable release

More information can be found on the wiki.

Videos, screenshots, and other media

Some screenshots can be found in the documentation pages of the wiki.


The following videos exist for OpenMRS:

For over 30 more OpenMRS videos, please see the associated YouTube channel.


Several demos of OpenMRS exist on the OpenMRS website.

Entities using OpenMRS

More than 120 clinical and research facilities are utilizing OpenMRS. For a full list, please refer to the website list.

Further reading

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 "OpenMRS Trunk". OpenMRS LLC. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "About OpenMRS". OpenMRS LLC. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Mamlin, Burke W.; Biondich, Paul G.; Wolfe, Ben A.; Fraser, Hamish; Jazayeri, Darius; Allen, Christian; Miranda, Justin; Tierney, William M. (2006). "Cooking up an open source EMR for developing countries: OpenMRS - a recipe for successful collaboration". AMIA Annual Symposium Proceedings: 529–33. PMC 1839638. PMID 17238397. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Biondich, Paul G.; Mamlin, Burke W.; OpenMRS, LLC (02 May 2012). A Brief History of OpenMRS (Video). YouTube. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  5. Elko, Zach J. (23 May 2007). "OpenMRS Summer Of Code: Welcome!". Zach J. Elko. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Blaya, Joaquin (27 April 2008). "Collaboration with OpenELIS, an open source lab information system". Partners In Health Informatics Team. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  7. "2009 Pizzigati Prize for Public Interest Computing Awarded to Darius Jazayeri". Tides. 28 April 2009. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  8. "Introducing OpenMRS 2.0". OpenMRS LLC. 26 February 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2014.