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The Free Open Source EncounterPRO-OS EMR Clinical Groupware for Pediatrics and Primary Care Website


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Message from Mark Copenhaver, Founding Developer, EncounterPRO-OS | Print |



My name is Mark Copenhaver, Founding Developer of the EncounterPRO-OS EMR Clinical Groupware Platform. This message is for developers and other partners who are looking for an EMR platform on which to deliver their products and services.

The EMR industry is changing, from traditional all-in-one EMRs to modular component-based clinical groupware, from hunt-and-peck EMRs that turn physicians into data-entry clerks to anticipatory EMRs that hand the physicians the right screen at the right time, and from expensive proprietary EMRs to inexpensive open-source EMRs.

Since 1994 when I and my family, including a pediatrician, built the first EMR workflow system for pediatric and primary care, EncounterPRO-OS has evolved and improved. From the very beginning I designed EncounterPRO-OS to be a platform, an operating system for a physician's office, with which to deliver valuable products and services to patients and physicians at the point of care. A module that you write to the EncounterPRO-OS programming interface can be seamlessly added to workflows managed by the EncounterPRO-OS workflow engine. The result is sets of modules that work well together consistent with user workflow requirements and preferences. For a look under the hood to understand what makes the EncounterPRO-OS EMR platform so different from traditional workflow-challenges EMRs, take a look at the white paper, Pediatric and Primary Care EMR Business Process Management: A Look Back, a Look Under the Hood, and a Look Forward.

The EncounterPRO-OS is the only ambulatory EMR in which a workflow engine executes process models of medical office workflows. Routine workflows occur quickly, correctly, and consistently. We estimate that for routine patient encounters, EncounterPRO requires one third to one half as many user clicks.

However, as I initially indicated, EncounterPRO-OS is not just software for efficiently running a pediatric or primary care practice. It is a platform for delivering products and services to the patient and physician at the point of care. EMRs are becoming plumbing that you should take for granted, but which enable to you to do what you want to do, quickly, easily, and inexpensively.

As a developer, if you would like your product or service to flow over EncounterPRO-OS to the point of care, then wrap your product in a module (instructions here) that can be accessed by the EncounterPRO-OS workflow engine. Then add your module to an existing process definition, or "workplan" as we call it. Alternatively, if you pay a developer to add a module to EncounterPRO-OS, it belongs to you. You can sell it for whatever the market will bear, along with a free copy of the free and open source EncounterPRO-OS platform.

Open source principles are driving innovation across software and non-software industries. Over a million lines of open source software code are written every day. There are hundreds of thousands of open source projects, 19,000 new projects in 2009 alone, and over 800 in health care. Open source software, once associated with inexpensive clones of commercial software today increasingly drive innovation. It are the traditional proprietary closed source vendors who are struggling to keep up.

Open source philosophy influences a variety of initiatives outside of software too, from the open government movement to open source educational courseware and content. The open source principle is "Create something valuable and useful, give it away, encourage others to use and improve it, under the condition that everyone benefits from their innovation." This principle has profound potential to solve the world's problems on a global scale. We hope and intend that even the poorest clinics in the world should have the best possible EMR.

We feel good about free open source the EncounterPRO-OS EMR Clinical Groupware Platform and hope that you will join us: Help improve the EncounterPRO-OS free open source core. Create modular components that extend its functionality. Sell them bundled with EncounterPRO-OS at no license cost to you or your customers. Or, do what we've done, release your software under a free open source license too.

Mark Copenhaver
Founding Developer
EncounterPRO-OS and
The EncounterPRO Foundation

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