OpenEMR is the most widely used EMR or electronic medical record system. OpenEMR is no standard tool and can be customized as per the whims of a medical institution. There are various implementation options that could be considered. The options vary from a simple OpenEMR medical billing software that can be implemented at offices. BlueEHS, on the other hand, is a solution that’s far more feature-packed and advanced.
Contrary to what the critics may like to believe, BlueEHS is not a rehash of OpenEMR. It’s built from ground zero and comes with its own unique code and features. And it’s a Software as a service (SaaS) solution. Now, the question is whether OpenEMR or open source EMR is right? If it’s not the right choice, then what are the ideal alternatives?
Both OpenEMR and BlueEHS have their unique benefits and drawbacks. When discussing open source EMR, the talk is basically about OpenEMR that caters to 300,000 or more entities in 36 languages in 182 countries. Why is open source EMR so widely in use? The following are some of the reasons why:
• Cost-efficiency; free code download
• Option to try prior to purchase
• Vendor lock-in freedom
• Customizable and flexible
• Support options
• Code quality, security, and audibility
• Data ownership
Though it’s a known fact that open source applications are free, implementing interconnected, complicated EMR software effectively isn’t meant for beginners. A professional resource is necessary, who is aware what he/she is doing. If you could be that resource, then that’s great! The following is a list of a few items you must look into when implementing an open source on-site software with specific EMR reference.
• HIPAA and security compliance, probably hard to navigate.
• Generally, open source code boasts of a community that constantly improves the code and the alterations have to be updated regularly.
• Customization is an expense. However, in the majority of scenarios, the cost is significantly lower when compared to customizing proprietary EMRs.
• Interfacing with many third party companies such as eRX, HIEs, Labs, etc. is required. These firms work with chosen vendors, and the interfaces are available at complicate contracts and extra costs.
• Portal for patients and easy accessibility of the same, and the ability to integrate with multiple devices.
Open source EMR could suit a couple of types of individuals:
• A hobbyist who prefers doing things on his own.
• Companies with resources that could meet the aforementioned points.
However, the thing that’s most required at the moment is getting away from monopolistic EHR systems’ vice-like grip. EPIC has the medical data of close to 40 percent of the American population. Proprietary cloud-based systems offer zero benefits offered by open source platforms. In fact, quite often, they hold your information hostage. The inefficacy and inflexibility are so bad that the AMA (American Medical Association) was petitioned to look into their testing protocol. Physicians are revolting against such incapable EHRs, and the Congress has come up with a legislation to prioritize the EHR mess.
At the moment, BlueEHS is the lone proprietary setup that provides users with all the features and flexibility required at an affordable cost. The makers of BlueEHS have apparently taken the best of proprietary and open source systems and has presented the concoction in an easy-to-implement and friendly manner.
The company has spent close to a decade customizing, troubleshooting, and putting into use OpenEMR for different types of buyers across the globe. These customers comprise non-governmental and governmental organizations. All the knowledge and lessons acquired from these years of experience have been utilized to develop and design the BlueEHS offering from scratch.
As a result, the company is now able to cater to the requirements of different and all types of buyers, including:
• Complex organizations that are capable of managing their own information technology (IT): AWS image or open source.
• Fierce independent tech enthusiasts and hobbyists: open source solution.
• Small-to-medium scale firms’ requirements and practices: SaaS solution.
• Parts of the globe where the Internet is still a luxury: BlueEHS open source or onsite version.
Ultimately, open source is all about the freedom and versatility to make your own choice. This range of choices and level of flexibility is usually not the norm with any other EHR/EMR solution.