Mon, 02 May 2022 15:48:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 32 32 Welcoming our 2022 OpenMRS Fellows! Mon, 02 May 2022 15:44:21 +0000

Several years ago, the OpenMRS Community faced a serious challenge: several senior developers were moving on to new adventures in their careers. While the community had a large pool of new talent starting out, the number of experienced OpenMRS developers working on community priorities who could pick up the baton of departing senior developers were extremely limited. Fellowships were one of several solutions to this problem that came up in community discussions. 

In 2020, the OpenMRS Community had an opportunity to put this idea into action with three OpenMRS fellowships, one focused on product management and two on development. Each year since then, the OpenMRS Fellowship Program has seen both improvement and expansion. 

Today, we’re thrilled to welcome our seven 2022 OpenMRS Fellows:

  • Bett Kipchumba, Development Fellow
  • Daud Kakumirizi, Development Fellow
  • Hadijah Kyampeire, Development Fellow
  • Joshua Nsereko, QA Engineering Fellow
  • Nikesh Balami, Community Management Fellow
  • Suruchi Dhungana, Product Management Fellow
  • Tendayi Mutangadura, Product Management Fellow

During their fellowships, they will be working closely with the squads & teams whose work aligns with their fellowship goals as well as with their mentors: Daniel Kayiwa, Grace Potma, Jennifer Antilla, and Zac Butko. 

To follow their fellowship journeys, look out for their twice-monthly Fellowship Journey posts on Talk (tag: fellowship).

Learn more about the OpenMRS Fellowship Program on our Wiki.

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Congratulations, Gibril Gomez, Community Representative to the OpenMRS Board of Directors! Mon, 07 Mar 2022 17:42:14 +0000

Every two years, the OpenMRS Community holds elections for a Community Representative to serve on the OpenMRS Board of Directors. In late 2021, our community nominated six amazing people for the 2022-2024 term. Four of them chose to run. In January, 285 active OpenMRS community members cast their votes. Their top choice? Gibril Gomez of Nigeria.

Gibril has a long and rich history in the information and communication technology industry. A health informatics specialist, Gibril brings extensive experience with eHealth, mHealth systems, database development. He has led several teams and initiatives to support integration of IT strategies across countries. He is also adopting a comprehensive strategy to provide market and consumer information services on the use and implementation of digital health systems.

In 2011, he became one of Nigeria’s OpenMRS pioneer, establishing his experience and involvement in dialogues with a variety of stakeholders, such as Government of Nigeria (GoN) agencies, National Aids Control Agency (NACA), National AIDS and STDs
Control Programme (NASCP), Implementing Partners (IPs) and others.

Eleven years later, Gibril is now the Director of Health Informatics at Public Health Information, Surveillance, Solutions, and Systems (PHIS3) in Nigeria. In this role, he oversees the sub region’s largest EMR system adopted from the OpenMRS and institutionalized as NigeriaMRS. By 2021, NigeriaMRS has over 4,052,512 patients ever registered and 1,042,399 patients currently active on treatment in 19 of Nigeria’s 36 state,s with all NigeriaMRS data feeding into Nigeria’s National Data Repository (NDR).

Gibril says “’Type it once!’ is my mantra. If information already exists in a single system, let us connect to it to simplify processes and decrease anomalies while offering access to information to help business decisions.”

He is excited to join the OpenMRS Board of Directors and support the innovative transformation to further expand the OpenMRS platform for better healthcare delivery.

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OpenMRS Quality Assurance: The highs and lows of 2021 Tue, 22 Feb 2022 13:16:37 +0000

The Quality Assurance team has come a long way since its inception in 2019 and the most amazing thing is that we are still growing.

In 2021, the QA team experienced tremendous growth and diversification in its work. The team no longer just handles the Reference Application UI tests and comprises at most 4 people. Today, the team on average has 10 to 15 volunteers who take part in our weekly calls and volunteer to automate tests. The team expanded it’s scope to support OpenMRS 3.0, Platform testing, integrations of advanced QA tools,  Security testing and Interoperability testing. 

Apart from growth in the team and diversification, one of the other key achievements is the OpenMRS QA dashboard. The dashboard provides a snapshot of various OpenMRS products that are being tracked, triggering the QA Support Team to act.  Below is a snapshot of it:

What did it take to get here? How did we create such growth? Four things that worked best for us in 2021 were: 

Peer mentorship: Mentorship in the QA team is not reliant on one person. Anyone with a good understanding of the framework can mentor and support a new team member to onboard. The environment of peer mentorship is friendly and welcoming thus making it easy for new members to join.

Documentation and tutorial videos: Volunteers also on-boarded themselves using the documentation and tutorial videos that have been set up. The team has provided detailed documentation and tutorial on the QA framework including creating a self-teaching module which was part of a Bootcamp series.

Encouragement and support: Being able to maintain the numbers of volunteers in our team has been successful through recognition of the work done, showcasing work done, and sharing blockers during the weekly calls. This has helped members get unblocked which has gone a long way in boosting morale in the team.

Continuous learning: The QA support team is always looking for better ways to handle QA or identify new areas to venture into and implement.  The team also benchmarks with other communities to learn more on how they handle QA in their environment.

Despite the advancement in 2021, we also had losses to our team with the sudden loss of our lead QA Engineer the Late Joseph Kaweesi.  This posed a challenge to the team as we had not only lost a friend and colleague but also a mentor and strong champion of Quality Assurance. However, the OpenMRS fellows who were under him were inspired to pick up where he left off with support from the community developers and moved the work head.  A true depiction of community support.

In conclusion, special thanks goes to all the team members that make up the QA team and the OpenMRS community at large for their support in the work the team does.

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OMRS21: A Special, Virtual Community Moment​ Fri, 28 Jan 2022 22:05:44 +0000

It’s already a tradition. Every year, when December approaches, a special moment of time occurs. A time of sharing and inspiring. A time of knowledge and ideas. A time of the community.

The 2021 OpenMRS Implementers’ Virtual Conference was held on Zoom and lasted for 4 days, from 29th November to 2nd December. During this time, a variety of sessions took place, welcoming every person that wished to join and listen. The conference officially started with an opening ceremony by the OpenMRS Board of Directors, who gave participants a warm welcome, expressing pride and gratitude for the amazing community of OpenMRS. 

As Jan Flowers, Chair of the OpenMRS Board of Directors, said:

“Today, when we’re talking about quality and resilience, we’re really talking about trust. Trust in OpenMRS. It goes beyond the quality of the software, it includes the quality of the community that creates the software.”

Staying true to these words, the 2021 OpenMRS Implementers’ Conference was all about the community. It is the conference participants who drove the agenda, deciding on the things they want to talk about. The most anticipated topics included: OpenMRS 3.0, FHIR, OHRI, OpenHIE, OpenMRS Academy, new OpenMRS products and collaborating practices. There were also newcomers who anticipated meeting new people and bonding with the community.

Participants explored many important issues through this year’s unconferencing sessions. While discussing a variety of projects and questions, they focused on local communities and their needs. They exchanged their views and ideas, and together searched for better solutions to the problems of specific countries and users. As a community that not only speaks, but also attentively listens, conference participants openly shared their stories and worked through challenges together, in harmony with local country representatives. 

The 2021 OpenMRS Implementers’ Conference was an inspiring experience, a celebration of shared knowledge and unity, despite differences. Thanks to everyone for participating! We are honored to be a part of such an amazing community and we’re hoping to meet you all again.

See you next year!

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OpenMRS Platform 2.5.0 Released Thu, 23 Dec 2021 22:11:14 +0000 Am delighted to let all know that OpenMRS Platform 2.5.0 is released !

Something exciting and worth mentioning about this release is several features have been added with OpenMRS 3.0 in mind and that it’s beta phases have succesfully powered Refapp 2.12.0 and openmrs 3.0 with no issue/s recorded

As such expect to find the following features in this Release :-

Important Links :

Special thanks to the following people for the great support and contributions in terms of development , bug fixing e.t.c , rendered to make this a success . @dkayiwa @burke @ibacher @miirochristopher @aojwang @navareth

And the QA team @kdaud @sharif @irenyak1 @christine @grace which revolutionalized the testing process

Tendo Martin,

OpenMRS Platform 2.5.0 Release Manager

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Reference Application 2.12.1 Released Sat, 11 Dec 2021 17:01:22 +0000 We are happy to announce the release of Reference Application 2.12.1, the latest maintenance release of the 2.12.x version of the Reference Application. The primary purpose of this update is to take advantage of the 2.4.2 release of the platform.

This release updates the version of Log4J2 to address CVE-2021-44228. This is a critical vulnerability and all implementations using the 2.4.x line of OpenMRS should upgrade as soon as they are able. For those unable to upgrade or needing a fix between now and when they are able to upgrade please see our Talk post about this issue.

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OpenMRS Platform 2.4.2 Released Sat, 11 Dec 2021 13:32:24 +0000 We are happy to announce the release of Platform 2.4.2, the latest maintenance release of the 2.4.x branch. As a maintenance release, this primarily includes bug fixes. However, it does add support for Tomcat 8.x and Tomcat 9.x.

This release updates the version of Log4J2 to address CVE-2021-44228. This is a critical vulnerability and all implementations using the 2.4.x line of OpenMRS should upgrade as soon as they are able. For those unable to upgrade or needing a fix between now and when they are able to upgrade please see our Talk post about this issue.

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Driven by Real Needs: The OpenMRS Dictionary Manager Web App Wed, 24 Nov 2021 16:04:41 +0000

Imagine you are setting up a Medical Records System at a new location. This new site may have 10, 50, 100, or more forms. Every single question and answer needs a code, so that clinical information can be stored correctly – e.g. “Asthma” might be coded by the computer as A1234. You feel overwhelmed thinking about the hundreds or thousands of codes you will need for just this one site. There are also many other new locations waiting to go-live. How would you get started?

User Centered. One of the OpenMRS Community’s core values, being user-centered means that we come together to design solutions that will solve real problems faced by OpenMRS implementers and users. 

As a community, OpenMRS built a new product for and together with implementers: the Dictionary Manager Web App. This web application was built with the support of different stakeholders, implementers, and content management experts.

To make sure that the Dictionary Manager Web App addressed the real needs of its users, the OpenMRS Dictionary Manager Squad decided to dig into who our users are and what they want.

As a part of user research, we conducted user interviews with seven different users from a variety of organizations. The results of these interviews were used to develop User Personas for the Dictionary Manager Web App, including each person’s motivation to use the app and their pain-points.

Users Top Pain Points - And What They’re Looking For in a Solution

Implementers voiced two major interests and concerns:

  • Easy Implementation: Users want to have ready-to-use, consistent resources that are more reusable and can be shared across all their sites. They also mentioned that they want to customize concepts without continuously reaching out to the CIEL team. One of them said: ”I do not want to re-work on the same content that another organization has already worked with. I believe in sharing resources.”
  • Trustworthy Standards: Users want to be able to reuse existing content or contents from other, trusted organizations. We were pleasantly surprised to learn how strongly these users believed in following standards. They want to use a standard set of concepts in their EHR so that they do not need to always work on a reporting module for every single site. Using standards early-on means that future data collection and reporting will be easier when new concepts are needed – and then re-work on legacy codes can be avoided. One of the implementers mentioned that  “I want to avoid re-work or complexity across our many sites. Having a standard set of concepts I can rely on saves me time with each new location, and allows me to focus on work that makes our users’ experience better. Otherwise I have to spend my time re-doing concepts and reports for each implementation.”

How Teams Are Set Up to Manage Content

From the interviews, we identified three different team set-ups common among OpenMRS users:

  • Limited Resources Set-Up: This is the most commonly found setup. Only one person looks after concepts for the organization. This includes all the steps from content creation to validation and, form creation to reporting. Most often, the person is a developer.
  • Some Resources Set-Up: This type of setup has a content manager, who looks after content in addition to a developer. 
  • High Resources Set-Up: The setup is found among the large organization where they have a Content Management In-charge in addition to content manager and developer.

We found that all the organizations lack in-house terminology experts. They often seek support from other organizations, like CIEL, to decide on correct terminology.

What's Next?

The Dictionary Manager Web App has given our implementers a single place to manage codes. We continue to improve the product based on our discussions with real users. We determine what users have the most difficulty with, so we prioritize our tasks accordingly. We now maintain a mini-roadmap that focuses primarily on the most required feature: supporting reuse of concepts and dictionaries which can be pulled from all public content.

Would you like to get involved? Discover more about our community and the Dictionary Manager Squad. We’d love to hear from you!

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Three New Things To Know About Organizations and Their Contributions to Open Source Communities​ Wed, 10 Nov 2021 21:20:35 +0000

A recent study from the TODO Group shows that a growing number of well known companies are increasing their upstream contributions to the open source projects maintaining the very software that these businesses rely on. As a result, some of these companies are gaining a reputation as a “good open source community citizen.” At OpenMRS, we’re seeing a similar trend. How can the OpenMRS Community help organizations to “do” open source with OpenMRS and become “good OpenMRS community citizens?” 

What the data tells us about organizations and open source contributions

According to a 2020 survey of companies on Open Source Programs , more and more companies and organizations are upping their engagement and contributions to open source projects. An increasing number of these companies are becoming known as “good open source community citizens.” As good citizens, these companies are not only making contributions to open source projects, but are collaborating and leading projects and initiatives within the open source ecosystem.

Why are companies like Red Hat, Google, IBM and Microsoft contributing to open source projects?

These companies choose to engage with open source communities for a few reasons. Many companies acknowledge that they rely heavily on open source software (like github) in their daily business operations. More and more companies who are frequent contributors cite the greater return on their investment they get when they contribute to open source projects. Some companies are starting to see hidden benefits of engaging with open source communities that can turn into their competitive advantage.

Some companies are going further on their open source journey, many are still “consumers.”

There are a multitude of ways that organizations can be engaged and contribute to open source projects. The return on investment that companies see and their reputation as “good open source community citizens” depend on how they engage with open source communities or “do” open source. Even though most companies are still consuming open source code or sharing their finished product, there is a growing number who are going further down the open source road by becoming increasingly active and giving back to open source communities.

What about OpenMRS? Is the same thing happening with our community?

The short answer? Yes, the OpenMRS community sees similar trends. 

As of December 2020, the OpenMRS Community is aware of over 30 organizations that are implementing OpenMRS in at least 40 countries and more than 6,500 health facilities. Since we updated our community model in 2019, the number of organizations engaging and contributing to our squads has doubled, from 6 in 2019 to 12 in 2020. Most organizations are using OpenMRS technology while a smaller, yet growing number are making the choice to actively and meaningfully engage with our community.

Imagine what our community could achieve with a large and diverse group of organizations making technical and non-technical contributions alike. When organizations have a shared stake in our collective success, we become a more sustainable community. 

We’re hearing from more and more organizations that they not only want to contribute more but that they want to know what and how they can contribute. We can easily share the ways that organizations can contribute to OpenMRS. Get Involved hits on many of them. What might be next? De-mystifying what “contributing” to OpenMRS might look like for different organizations, regardless of where they are on their journey with the OpenMRS community, could clear the way for organizations who want to become a better “OpenMRS community citizen.”

Interested in this topic? Join this and other conversations on Talk!


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Reference Application 2.12.0 Released Mon, 25 Oct 2021 16:27:00 +0000 Today we announce the OpenMRS Reference Application 2.12.0 release!

It’s built on the OpenMRS Platform version 2.4.0 and includes updates and different bug fixes. It also includes, the SPA module, to allow implementers to begin to play with integrating the 3.x framework into their existing OpenMRS installs. Please see the Release Notes for more information. As always, if you find any bugs, feel free to report to our issue tracking system.

You may download this release from Source Forget.

In addition to all the latest changes to the Reference Application modules, this release includes fixes for numerous security issues in the Legacy UI.

We should especially like to thank Sharif and Juliet for their efforts in getting this release done and the QA team, especially Daud and Christine!

Special thanks to Daniel Kayiwa for his tireless efforts and ensuring that we have a stable release process through his support in different ways.

Thanks also go to Joseph Kaweesi who was also supporting the process before he passed away (RIP).

And to all the developers, testers and the contributors, thanks for the amazing efforts in making this release possible. Let’s even save more lives!!!

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