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Online List of World Wide Medical Records Systems?


(Breck Yunits) #1

Anyone know of meta lists/databases of all the medical records systems in use worldwide?

In particular, systems outside of the USA?

Another way to put it is, what are the competitors to OHDSI?

We would like to put together an open, strongly typed database of all existing medical records in existence for use by everyone in the medical records system design field. Well, ideally one already exists and we can just use that, without having to build it :slight_smile:


(Kristin Kostka, MPH) #2

@breck, you’ve got things tangled up a bit here. Let me try to help so maybe you can get some answers. :slight_smile:

OHDSI is not an electronic medical record system. OHDSI is the name of the community of investigators who pledge to conduct open, transparent research in the pursuit of high quality evidence generation to bring out the value of health data through large-scale analytics and improve patient lives. OHDSI does not “own” any data… investigators own their data and run packages on their local OMOP Common Data Model. Thus, OMOP Common Data Model is the standard data model and supporting terminology service we use to conduct this open, federated network.

So… the OMOP CDM is more analogous to a shared standard that other investigators adopt to conduct large scale, federated research. Nearest neighbors include initiatives like PCORnet, i2b2/tranSMART and (for those who were invited to be part of it) the Sentinel Initiative.

If you want to know all the source systems in the world that could generate OMOP CDM data… that’s a slightly different question and admittedly, I don’t think any one person knows this answer. Our friends in the IMI EHDEN initiative (@Rijnbeek @Daniel_Prieto) could speak to some of the activity of how different groups in Europe are converting their data into the OMOP CDM. @mvanzandt @SCYou and others could speak to what they know about Asia. And of course our growing network in Latin America is just now organizing (@jposada) too. Our friend @julie_kohler works in Africa and may have some commentary around OpenMRS and the systems used there.

This is all to say… you may be unicorn :unicorn: hunting here. I’m not aware of any master list of all potential vendors ever in the electronic medical record space – especially given the homegrown nature of some systems.

But it’s almost Christmas :christmas_tree:… if there’s ever a time to make a big ask, it’s not a bad one. :blush:


(Breck Yunits) #3

Thank you so much @krfeeney! I appreciate the clarifications as sometimes I swap OMOPCDM for OHDSI. I really appreciate the links. I’ve gone ahead and started a DB on GitHub using those and a few more.

Figure the best way to discover someone else’s list is to start our own and then I’m sure at some point will stumble upon better lists.

mele kalikimaka!


(Julianna Kohler) #4

Hi @breck

I’m just trying to get a better understanding of what you’re trying to do. I see on your list some electronic medical records systems, some standards, and some data models. Which do you need? An EMR system will not be a direct competitor to OMOP–each EMR system has its own data model, and data (to the best of my knowledge, anyway) always needs to be transformed into OMOP, just as it would be transformed into other common data models such as i2b2 or PCORnet. In the donor-funded systems where I work (mostly Africa), we transform all our data into DHIS2, which is not a data standard but is a (nearly universal) population-level health information management system that collects data aggregations and standardized indicators that are used to report to donors on program progress. But this is all independent of the function of data collection about (and for) the patient, which is the job of the EMR. Does that make sense? I’m happy to contribute to the list but just want to better understand what you’re trying to collect.


(Breck Yunits) #5

Thanks so much @julie_kohler

I added DHIS2 to the list.

I see on your list some electronic medical records systems, some standards, and some data models. Which do you need?

I think it makes sense to just throw them all in there. I’m up to 46 entries now. Right now I have them all in there as “system” but like you said, there are a number of categories of things here, and will go through soon and clear up the taxonomy on those.

Does that make sense?

Your explanation is crystal clear. I really appreciate it.

I’m happy to contribute to the list but just want to better understand what you’re trying to collect.

It’s open ended. Are there any questions you have about the field that this sort of database could help answer?

When I’m tackling a new domain, usually my first step is to find the best strongly typed dataset on that domain. So if I was to plan to make movies I’d signup for IMDB Pro, or if I was going to create an investment fund I’d sign up for a Bloomberg Terminal, etc. Wikipedia and literature reviews are good, but I find rich, strongly typed datasets to be really useful.

One time there wasn’t that type of thing for the domain I entered, so I had to build an open source one up from scratch. Now it’s pretty useful to a lot of people in that field.

In the beginning the database is a bit amorphous but thanks to feedback like yours it quickly can start to take shape.

I guess what I’m hoping to find—or create if it doesn’t exist—is the database anyone in the medical records field wished they had when they were designing their system or standard or vocab, etc. So it could track EMR systems, standards, ontologies, hospitals, do it yourselfs, etc. The columns could be things like # of countries using this, # of patients using this, year it appeared, # of revisions, can patients access their own records, does it aggregate population level data, etc.

I don’t have a sense yet of how many rows and columns this dataset would have, but I could imagine it tracking a few hundred “entities” across the Medical Records field.


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