BACKGROUND: As the coronavirus pandemic progressed through the United States, Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services (IEMS) identified a gap between the health system capacity and the projected need to support an overwhelmed health care system . In addressing emergencies or special cases, each medical institution in a metropolitan area typically has a siloed process for capturing emergency patient records . These approaches vary in technical capabilities and may include use of an electronic medical record system (EMR) or a hybrid paper/EMR process . Given the projected volume of patients for the COVID-19 pandemic and the proposed multi-institutional team approach needed in case of significant provider illness, IEMS sought a simple, efficient, consolidated EMR solution to support planning for the potential capacity gap . IEMS approached Regenstrief Institute (RI), an established partner with experience in supporting OpenMRS, a global good EMR platform that had been deployed in multiple settings globally .
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this project was to determine if OpenMRS, a global good, could be used to quickly stand up a system that would meet the needs for health emergency data collection and reporting .
DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION
METHODS: The team used an``all hands on deck"approach, bringing together technical and subject matter experts, and a human-centered and iterative process to ensure the system met the key needs of IEMS . The OpenMRS Reference Application was adapted to the specific need and deployed as Docker containers to servers within the Indiana Health Information Exchange . PROJECT
OUTCOMES AND LESSONS LEARNED: In less than two weeks, the Regenstrief team was able to install, configure and set up a working version of OpenMRS to support the desired electronic record requirements for the IEMS disaster field clinics . Using a human-centered approach, the RI team developed, tested, and released a user-friendly, installation-ready solution complete with an end user manual and a base support plan . IEMS and RI are sharing this approach to demonstrate how a global good can quickly generate a solution for COVID-19 and other disaster responses .
CONCLUSIONS: Open source global goods can rapidly be adapted to meet local needs in an emergency . OpenMRS can be adapted to meet the needs of basic emergency medical services registration, triage, and basic data collection.
Index: COVID-19, EMR, Electronic medical record systems, Global goods, Open source