OpenEHR–thoughts from the peanut gallery

head in wall compressedI was invited to share some thoughts on OpenEHR, please also share yours.  Nobody will ever accuse me of being a technologist—there are those among us whose expertise is the application of technology, so if I hurt myself trying to convey an opinion, I trust you will correct me.  On my best days I see myself as an ideaist, which according to Google makes me unique as they don’t think the word exists.  Maybe that’s why I can’t see my own shadow.

If there are two camps, those who want to see EHR up and running, and those who want to see it running on their own software, in my opinion, OpenEHR is in the former.

Understand, I am not suggesting OpenEHR is any of the following.  However, If correctly implemented and deployed, I think stretching the current OPenEHR model could be used in conjunction to:

  • Create a solution which could eliminate the need for Rhios
  • Be part of the solution for domestic and international interoperability
  • Facilitate the possibility of having a single browser-based EHR
  • Eliminate the need for specialty EHRs
  • Solve world hunger

Got carried away.

Now, good arguments can be made to explain away each of these.  There’s always a long list of reasons why things can’t work.  That’s the easy list to draft.  If instead of suggesting why this couldn’t work, what would happen if we argued in the affirmative, to see if this is at all possible?

If it turns out that it’s not, I’ll take the 5th on my lack of technology expertise.


4 thoughts on “OpenEHR–thoughts from the peanut gallery

  1. I’ve been working with openEHR for the past 5 yrs and am convinced that it has a lot to offer. It has an orthogonal way to traditional approaches to EHRs, rather than ‘more of the same’. It sometimes does seem like openEHR has been promoted to ‘do anything’ including the world hunger issue;-) But it is increasingly evident that those who do investigate openEHR seriously often find quite compelling solutions to our EHR and interoperability conundrums.
    The specs are very technical, and there is no doubt that work needs to be done to demystify some of these rigorous specs into something that ordinary mortals can comprehend.
    My current work is getting clinicians collaborating and agreeing on openEHR archetypes – computable specifications for the EHR clinical content. It is relatively new, with the Clinical Knowledge Manager site only 3 months old, but over 250 people from 43 countries currently involved to varying degrees. We do have grassroots clinicians agreeing on international specs for clinical content, despite them not needing any technical understanding of openEHR – just contributing their health domain expertise. You might be interested to take a look at for yourself.
    Currently openEHR is contributing to the national programs in UK, Sweden, Australia, Singapore and most recently, Brazil. It is now mentioned as part of Microsoft’s Connected Health Framework and the European Roadmap for Semantic Interoperability. And the openEHR community is growing – with over 2000 people from over 70 countries contributing or monitoring developments.
    After >15 yrs of R&D, it is getting some significant momentum and warrants some close observation.


  2. Tell us a little more about what you mean by “single browser-based EHR.” If “browser” is Firefox vs. Explorer I think both will work at the same time. I guess the real issues is” Why “single?”



    • This is where get over my head. What I mean is a single instance of the EHR application. Maybe it’s like some of the Google apps. They “host” the app and we can access it from our laptop without having the software. We can even have our data for that app secured off site. My best- Paul


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