Rwanda has ambitious plans to strengthen its health care system by improving patient data management. To this end, Chemonics’ USAID-funded Rwanda Family Health Project is assisting the Ministry of Health to expand an electronic medical records system called OpenMRS as a key sector priority to improve health care facility services.
Developing countries often have to manage their information with paper-based systems, simple spreadsheets, or small, poorly designed databases, which are inefficient because they create unnecessary tasks for health care staff and ineffective because they can reduce the reliability of patient information.
That is why the Regenstrief Institute, a leader in medical informatics research, and Partners in Health, a Boston-based philanthropic organization that focuses on health care service and advocacy, created the multi-institution, nonprofit collaborative OpenMRS. The platform is an open-source electronic medical records system that carries patients’ data reliably and can be customized for different uses.