If you've been following Haiti relief efforts since the Jan. 12 earthquake sent that troubled country deeper into chaos, you've probably seen the name "Partners In Health." That group, a Boston-based not-for-profit with loose ties to Harvard University and Partners HealthCare System, has nine established medical clinics in Haiti, and has developed an open-source EMR called OpenMRS, now in use in nearly two dozen developing countries across the globe.
In Haiti, OpenMRS and a web-based EMR that preceded it have been tracking HIV patients at PIH clinics since early 2003. The database now contains records for more than 14,000 patients, and includes a pharmacy management tool that serves 10 Haitian hospitals and a medication warehouse. Health workers use the system to enter medication orders, as well as track and report on stock levels. The EMR also produces reports for public-health officials and non-governmental organizations that fund health efforts in the impoverished country. Thanks to satellite links, the system has remained functional throughout the current crisis.
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