If you’re a small clinic or hospital on a very tight budget, you might consider one of these software tools to help empower your organization.
Healthcare is a tricky subject to cover from just about any angle. One of the big issues is the strict privacy laws that govern the industry, which make it challenging for software to not just be created but maintained over time. Because of this, it’s not easy coming up with solid open-source solutions. Such software has come and gone over the years (most have gone), but some have managed to stick around.
I want to highlight five such available tools, four of which are free and open-source, and one that is free. All five of these tools are cross-platform.
With that said, let’s take a look at what’s available for modern healthcare businesses to make use of.
The OpenEMR system offers every feature you’d need to run your organization. Image: OpenEMR
The OpenEMR system offers every feature you’d need to run your organization.
Do any search for open-source healthcare systems, and OpenEMR will always be either on top of or near the top of every list. There’s a good reason for that. OpenEMR is not just a solid entry for an open-source tool, it’s solid for any license model.
OpenEMR includes prescribing, CMS reporting, lab integration, advanced security, clinical decision rules, patient demographics, patient portal, document management, community support, a telehealth module and more. OpenEMR is ONC Complete Ambulatory EHR certified and has a very active community of volunteers to support the platform.
OpenEMR offers a fully functioning demo and can be run on Linux and Windows as well as via Docker and from within AWS Cloud.
OpenMRS is simple and effective to use for clinics and other healthcare institutions. Image: OpenMRS
OpenMRS is simple and effective to use for clinics and other healthcare institutions.
OpenMRS is another open-source platform. Unlike OpenEMR, OpenMRS is focused on medical records. The goal of OpenMRS is to improve healthcare delivery to resource-constrained environments. OpenMRS is not just an open-source medical records system, but a community of developers, users, and implementers working toward a foundation of open management of medical information.
OpenMRS features patient repository, security and reporting, cohort management, patient workflow management, privilege-based access, multiple identifiers per patient, modular architecture, patient merging and relationships, localization, complex data support and personal attributes. One of the most important features of OpenMRS is the interoperability of data and the ability to add new functions without having to modify the core code.
OpenMRS can run on Linux, macOS and Windows.
Hospital Run offers an outstanding interface that anyone can use. Image: HospitalRun
Hospital Run offers an outstanding interface that anyone can use.
One of the key features of HospitalRun is that it was designed to allow records to be carried from a hospital to remote clients, which means the platform can work either on or offline.
Hospital run has a very user friendly interface that makes it simple to manage inventory, patient information, patient assessments and procedures, appointments, labs, imaging and medication. HospitalRun is ideal for clinics located in rural areas, where internet connectivity isn’t reliable (or even available).
This platform focuses on usability as its primary requirement, so the UX is top notch. The developers also wanted to ensure users weren’t having to spend inordinate amounts of time using the software, so they focused a good deal of effort ensuring most common tasks can be done quickly.
Open Hospital is easily installed on Linux, macOS and Windows. Image: Open Hospital
Open Hospital is easily installed on Linux, macOS and Windows.
Image: Open Hospital
Open Hospital is our final open-source platform, one geared to aid in the digitization of hospital data while minimizing the knowledge required to make use of the system.
By design Open Hospital makes it possible for facilities without skilled resources or support to make use of a well-designed electronic clinical data platform. Open Hospital has been used in numerous countries and includes features such as patient registration and admission, outpatient management, ward and exam management, pregnancy management, pharmacy management, malnutrition control management, billing and vaccine databases.
Solismed offers a user interface that is clean and simple. Image: Solismed
Solismed offers a user interface that is clean and simple.
Solismed is the only tool in the list that isn’t open source. It is, however free to use.
This platform was designed to automate many of the day-to-day activities, digitize patient records and facilitate better communication between staff. Solismed includes features such as a daily dashboard, contact records, schedules, ancillaries, internal messaging, billing, reports, building operations, payments, templates and more.
Solismed can be deployed free for five active users, meaning it’s really only free for small clinics. If your organization has more than five users, you must pay $500 for five more users. Another catch with Solismed is that, although minor upgrades are free, major upgrades will cost you 50% of the license fee. Of course, if you’re only using Solismed for a small clinic of fewer than five users, major upgrades are free.