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The authoritative version of the Frequently Asked Questions are at

What is OpenMRS?

OpenMRS is an application which enables design of a customized medical records system with no programming knowledge (although medical and systems analysis knowledge is required). It is a common framework upon which medical informatics efforts in developing countries can be built.

OpenMRS is also a community of people working to apply health information technologies to solve problems, primarily in resource-poor environments.  We are a proud community of developers, implementers, funders, and users all trying to make the world a better place by using our expertise to improve the health and wellness of the planet.

Who is OpenMRS for?

OpenMRS is for people that need to implement a medical records system. It is both just a library of API calls and a database and a default implementation of those API calls in the form of a web application.


Where is OpenMRS being used?

OpenMRS is currently known to be implemented in Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Pakistan, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Malawi, Peru, and Haiti. See the Implementations page for a fuller listin use around the world . Further implementations are underway in multiple other locations throughout Africa globally through the work of such groups as the Millenium Millennium Villages Project and FACES. Nearly twelve million discrete observations have been collected for nearly 50,000 HIV patients with over 550,000 encounters within the AMPATH implementation in Kenya. The Jembi team in South Africa is leading the effort to form an implementers group to aid in further implementations.


At this stage, OpenMRS requires a fairly sophisticated team of implementers to install and run. Such teams in several countries are in the process or considering implementations at this time. We are working toward a pre-built implementation that would allow more clinic sites to take advantage of a sophisticated, scalable EMR without needing the expertise to support and maintain it at a low level. OpenMRS is backed by a data model driven by a concept dictionary, allowing for the collection of coded, reusable data without requiring changes to the data model. Furthermore, OpenMRS is not based on an HIV-centric data model, so it can be adapted for use in tuberculosis, malaria, or general medical care. OpenMRS is based upon a program which has been used effectively for over 30 years at Regenstrief Institute.


The easiest way to find things on this website is to use the ‘search’ box on the left-hand side of the screen.

What technologies is OpenMRS built on?

OpenMRS is programmed in Java and the core application works through a web-browser. Hibernate is used as an interface layer to the database. Tomcat is used as the web application server. The back end database is currently in MySQL. The system creates XML schemas for form design. Form design and form data entry is currently done in Microsoft Infopath, HTML, or XForms. When form data entered is submitted, it is converted into a HL7 message before going into the database.


The JRE is sufficient unless you are planning on doing code development.

Can implementers add columns to tables in the database without disrupting the functioning of the application (e.g., adding home-language to the Patient table)?

The model can always be extended with business tables. We use such business tables to support certain functions (e.g., HL7 processing) and for module-specific needs. Additional attributes for patients and persons can be implemented using configurable Person Attributes, and don't require extra tables to be created.


Where can I get OpenMRS?

OpenMRS is a work in progress. The source code is always freely available from our subversion repositoryfor your review and download. You can find additional download information on the Downloads page.

What is the plan for


new features in OpenMRS?

We will post our plans on the Road Map Technical Roadmap page.

I have looked at the website, which is great, however, I had a difficult time understanding most of the technical terms. Is there any way that I may download a sample of the OpenMRS system?

Our documentation is a weakness, since we are working hard on the codebase. We are working on a demo website (login: admin/test). You can also obtain download information here. If you have questions that are not answered on our website, please post your question(s) to the OpenMRS Forum or join our Implementer's mailing list (from the Community page).

How do I contact members of the OpenMRS community?

You may reach us through the OpenMRS forum. You may post your questions to the forum and/or e-mail members through the forum website. There are also several mailing lists that get a lot of traffic. See the Community page to sign up and send mail to them.

What Port(s) does OpenMRS code repository use when performing a commit?

The repository uses the default SVN port 3609 on normal http connections or port 443 on secure https connections.


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What if my question isn't answered here?

Well, frankly, that wouldn't be a big surprise since we're just getting going. Feel free to join the wiki, edit this page, and add a FAQ question...hopefully someone will come along and add an answer it. To add a question to the FAQ, edit the page and place your question on a new line surrounded with three equal signs (=) on each side. The answer should follow on the next line, e.g.:

No Format
h2. How do you do x?

Answer goes here

NOTE: the FAQ should be used for questions that are likely to come up frequently, not for questions specific to your needs. If you have more specific questions, please use the OpenMRS Forum

Is Open MRS subject to FDA regulations? If so, how is "labeling" handled and how is privacy protected for patients?

Does OpenMRS support the DICOM standards ? If yes, then which DICOM standards are supported by OpenMRS ?


Where can I see a working example of OpenMRS?

Our demo is a basic installation of OpenMRS with some common add-on modules and a sample patient data set. Try it out today!

What if my question isn’t answered here?

Drop us a line. Someone will be in touch with you promptly.