As COVID-19 nears pandemic status and strains the existing health care systems, many of us in digital health are asking how our electronic systems can help slow or prevent the spread of this disease, and ultimately save lives. For those of us who serve in global health, in environments with limited healthcare systems, we are feeling a more intense sense of urgency to understand the epidemic and help halt the spread. At the heart of OpenMRS, our mission drives us to value patient care as the basis of everything we do. In the face of a crisis where patient identification and care is the critical factor in preventing pandemic spread, our community is feeling the need to do more, to lift each other up, and to come together with our talents to help.
Our impact is large, with OpenMRS housing more than 12.5 million patients’ medical records, in over 5,000 health facilities across more than 65 countries. Those countries that already experience strained resources and a higher burden of disease are now turning to OpenMRS for help in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on their high-risk population. More than at any other point in our history, OpenMRS and the larger global goods community, is well positioned to support these countries to respond to a pandemic by expanding their capacity through better scientific based information at their fingertips. As the frontline system for patient care in many countries, OpenMRS can be used for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) screening, treatment, and surveillance efforts that can result in saved lives.
Leveraging the flexibility of our platform alongside our experience in the Ebola crisis response, we are working together with the WHO and CDC to provide scientific-based guidance and tooling to those environments we serve. Our solutions need to be built quickly, easy to implement into an existing OpenMRS system, and they need to be flexible to easily update guidance as we gain knowledge about this disease.
We need your help. With members already engaged and forging the path, we invite you to join us in our mission.
Paul, Jan, Jen, & Terry
Paul Biondich, Project Lead and Executive Director
Jan Flowers, Chair, Board of Directors
Jen Antilla, Director of Community
Theresa Cullen, Director of Operations