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Allergy list: A series of allergies from which a patient suffers.

Apache Maven: A build management tool used for OpenMRS development.


Bamboo: A continuous Integration (CI) tool used by OpenMRS.

Bug: A repeatable error or flaw in a program that causes an unexpected or incorrect result. 

Bundled module: An OpenMRS module that is prepackaged with an OpenMRS release.


Clinician: A doctor, nurse, or other clinical officer who provides health care to patients.

Cohort: A group of patients that can be defined by one or more common traits.

Contributor:  Any community member who participates and contributes towards the OpenMRS community. 

Core: The source code for the OpenMRS API and core modules. The core does not include the source code for other, optional modules.

Concept: The fundamental unit of capturing clinical information within OpenMRS. Concepts represent a single idea and include both questions and answers. "cough", "address", "duration", and "yes" are a few examples.

Concept dictionary: A list of all the medical and program-related terms used in OpenMRS as questions and answers.

Customization: The idea of adapting a system to suit one's specific, particular needs.



Eclipse: A multi-language, open source Integrated Development Environment (IDE) recommended for OpenMRS development 

Electronic Medical Record: A digital version of a paper chart/document used to record patient data.

Electronic Medical Record system : A computer system that allows for recording, storage, and retrieval of Electronic Medical Records.

Encounter: A clinical transaction in which a group of data (e.g., observations, notes, and orders) are recorded. Encounters generally involve one (or a few) providers. Examples include the paper "encounter form" with which OpenMRS started, an order entry session, a daily note & associated orders written for patient while they are in the hospital, etc.


F/LOSS, FOSS, etc.: Free/libre and open source software. Software is freely licensed to use, copy, change and distribute. OpenMRS is licensed under the OpenMRS Public License based on the Mozilla Public License. 

Form: An electronic form that may be used to enter or view data for a patient.


Git: A distributed version control system (DVCS) that allows multiple developers to works simultaneously on a project without the need for a common network connection. 

GitHub: A web based hosting service for software development projects that use the Git revision control system. The OpenMRS source code is hosted on GitHub at

Groovy: A computer scripting language that allows automation and quick performance of tasks.


Hibernate: An object relational mapping (ORM) library for the Java language used by OpenMRS.

HL7: An abbreviation of Health Level Seven, a standard for exchanging information between medical applications.


Implementer: Someone who has or is in process of deploying OpenMRS in a specific location or context of use.

Informatics: The application and study of information technology and its use for society.

IRC: An abbreviation for Internet Relay Chat, an online tool to communicate with others in "real time". OpenMRS uses IRC to allow developers and implementers to collaborate and meet.


JIRA: An issue tracking /project management tool use by OpenMRS. Accessible at:

jRebel: A Java development-time tool that decreases turnaround by instantly reloading changes to your code, without having to restart the container or redeploy the application. 




Mailing list: A collection of names and addresses used by a company to send material to multiple recipients. On the internet, mailing lists include each person's e-mail address rather than a postal address.

Medical informatics: A discipline of studying the use of informatics in field of medical science.

Module: A software package that extends or changes OpenMRS functionality in specific ways. Modules have full access to the system and allow for the customization of OpenMRS. Most modules are developed by community members. 

Module repository: An online resource to find and maintain community-developed OpenMRS add-on modules.

MySQL: An open source relational database management system (RDMS) popular with web application and used by OpenMRS. 



Observation: An atomic unit of information that is recorded about a patient at a moment in time.

Open source: A method of developing software where the source code is freely available for others to examine, use, and build upon. Also a type of software development community based around sharing of work and collaboration.


Platform: A computer system that is simple by design, and is intended to be customized and adapted for use in a wide variety of contexts.

Privilege: Defines what actions an authenticated user is allowed to perform within OpenMRS. 

Provider: A clinician who is responsible for providing care to a patient.




Sample data: Fictional, anonymized information representing patient care within OpenMRS. Some versions of the software include anonymized data to make it easier to plan an OpenMRS implementation.

Spring Framework: An open source application framework and inversion of control container used by OpenMRS.

Sprint: A semi-agile process adopted by OpenMRS for implementing new features in a coordinated and speedy manner.

Super user: An OpenMRS user with permission to perform all management tasks in the application.

System administrator: A person who is responsible for day-to-day maintenance of a computer system or network.



User: A person who uses OpenMRS, or more specifically the data in the system representing that person.


Visit: A visit encompasses one or more encounters to describe an event where the patient has interacted with the healthcare system. Visits may occur within minutes/hours or may extend over days, weeks, or even months. Examples of visits include an outpatient (clinic) visit, a hospitalization, or a visit to the lab. 


Wiki: A web site containing documentation and other resources for a project or organization.

Workflow: A series of tasks to accomplish a goal.



YourKit: A CPU and memory Java Profiler with J2EE/J2ME support and IDE integration for various major Java IDEs.


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