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Date: 26 Feb 2008 (in person)


User:   Researcher


EMR Experience: OpenMRS daily usage 8/2006 – 10/2007 in Rwanda , also has experience with PIH EMR 1.0 ( P eru )


What does she use the EMR for?

  1. She was creating forms & managing data
  2. Exporting the data using Form Data Export, Data Export & Cohort Builder


Comments on what she uses:

  • Lots of little progress-stopping bugs in the system.  It was very, very frustrating to have to report the bugs and wait a day to get a resolution (because of the time difference) only to then run into another bug
  • Cohort builder did not work for her.  She couldn’t find the fields she needed and/or would get null results for simple searches she knew should have results (we speculate that it’s because she wasn’t choosing the correct concepts)
  • Flat Form Data export was good, but sometimes it’s so big it takes a long time to generate.  Sometimes, for some reason, the exported csv file had problems - too many columns to export into SAS.  Column headers too long – not customizable
  • Data export tool was buggy.  Having to generate the export before downloading it is a confusing extra step.
  • Infopath?  (she just shakes her head)  difficult to use
  • She LOVES the Peru EMR because she’s comfortable with Access.  Even if she runs into a bug with the interface she can pull things out of the backend herself.  Having a backup way to do things herself – even if it’s time consuming - is a huge thing for her
  • Loves the Access interface Christian developed for OpenMRS – makes her feel like her data is “no longer being held hostage”
  • She loves the feature in the Peru system that lets her cut and paste ID #’s into the system to create her own cohort (used this feature all the time)
  • Only went into the patient dashboard area when other data exporting methods weren’t working
  • In general, she is really positive, really believes in the EMR, but just wishes it would work 



  • More thorough testing before releasing anything!
  • An alert to tell users when things are going down for servicing/updates (an automated email?)
  • A feature in the cohort builder that lets her cut and paste ID #’s into the system
  • It’d be great if she had a way to manually eliminate columns from the form data export tool
  • She really needs a way to filter out all of the similar sounding concepts in the dictionary that are not applicable to the data she’s looking for.  Filtering is an option.  Creating her queries/exports starting from pulling fields from a form schema design is worth considering
  • Her gut feeling is that a really simple interface – like a long series of check boxes is the best thing for a search.  She thinks most people, like residents, will be doing very simple searches but that it’s important for someone like Patrick to be able to perform complicated queries through OpenMRS on his own.
  • A google-like search box that interprets what she wants is just too mysterious.  She wants more control