Year to year OpenMRS organizes an annual conference in one of the countries where the program is being used. It is a tradition that every year the whole community meets in one place for a week and spends time together, presents sessions, talks on interesting topics and plans future activities. Last year the conference was held in Maputo (Mozambique). Unfortunately, for logistic reasons, our Foundation couldn’t be there. Therefore, we planned to go this year, but reality checks our plans…
This year’s conference was special because it was taken online (virtual). Members couldn’t integrate together and meet each other like in the previous years. But still, a virtual conference is better than no conference at all! It’s always a great opportunity to make a lot of new connections, meet people from other countries who do similar things and compare their experiences.
The Conference lasted for 5 days. Because of the unusual circumstances and different form of this year’s edition, the event was free of charge, so everybody who wanted could take part in sessions.
In case you have missed this event, we prepared a quick summary of everything that happened!
The day 2 was full of great sessions and presentations that brought the community together and allowed participants to show their work to others. The community is huge, so on a daily basis, not everyone knows what happens in other teams and squads. It’s a nice occasion to share what teams worked on last year and what they want to achieve in the next one.
The topics that were discussed:
- Microservice approach to Openmrs, OMRS Multi-tenancy and Horizontal Scalability
- OpenMRS in Covid-19 : community care and vaccine data
- UX Improving Experience for Healthcare Providers
- Ethical considerations in EMR Implementation
- Federated Health Records – exchanging patient information with patient consents (with Bahmni as point-of-care)
It was a great experience to listen to the developers from different countries, describing their work and the challenges they have to overcome, in order to provide users with high-quality products. One of the sessions focused on “UX for Healthcare Providers”. People from Bangladesh, India, Nigeria, and many other countries, talked about designing UX for their users.
It was eye-opening to realize how much thought and effort must be put into the designing process, and how the requirements change, depending on the part of the world that the product is dedicated to. People from different regions and different backgrounds have their specific needs that have to be addressed in order for the product to be useful to them.
This is the kind of topic that brings up a lot of reflections and many new questions. How does one decide what type of UX is intuitive for the people from different cultural backgrounds? How do developers know which practices to use to create good and easy to use tools? There are many things we need to consider and learn in order to create solutions that are really helpful. It requires stepping out of our own comfort zone and putting ourselves in final users’ shoes.
Such events help us broaden our horizons and inspire us to come up with new ways of making this world a better place.
The topics discussed during the 3rd day’s sessions were focused on technical aspects of developers’ work.
Here is what we talked about:
- Queue Management
- OpenMRS DHIS2 Integration
- Aligning Priorities for Better Collaboration
- Concept management and OCL
- Extracting FHIR-formatted data from OpenMRS and Future on FHIR
- Evaluation Studies: Quantitative and qualitative evaluation studies of OpenMRS
Here you can find a presentation from that day. It’s about Squad Showcase and we highly recommend watching it!
On day 4th topics of presentation were focused on problems in OpenMRS, as well as interesting ongoing projects:
- Plenary Session: Panel: Critical Trends in Digital Health
- Quick overview of form technologies and then focus on OpenMRS 3.0 HFE migration paths
- Integration with Bahmni / NepalEHR using FHIR
- How can we get more organizations/countries collaborating? How can I contribute, either as an individual or as an implementer?
- OpenMRS, Computable Care Guidelines + Clinical Decision Support
- Bahmni Coalition: Ask Me Anything!
- Mobile Health Android Application: Chat with mUzima Team
- Best Practices in Distro Packaging, Deployment, and Distro Management: Initializer, examples, and 3 years of lessons learned!
- Role of the QA support team to the OpenMRS community
- Bahmni 0.93
- What do Implementers want? How analytics is being handled, and ETL work
- Pharmacy Solutions
- OpenMRS Academy and Building local capacity
A virtual trip to Nepal
Every year during the Implementers Conference there is a trip organized to one of the clinics which use OpenMRS software. During that journey members of the OpenMRS community can see how such a clinic looks like, how doctors and nurses have to deal with problems which aren’t common in developed countries. It helps to realize how these people live and what type of support they need.
Unfortunately, this year such a trip was impossible. However, the implementers from Nepal came up with an idea on how to overcome the epidemic restrictions. They decided to take us on a virtual trip to one of the Nepali hospitals. To achieve this, they organized interviews with local specialists on how they are using OpenMRS in their work. It was filmed in the Bayalpata Hospital, and even though it can’t be compared to a real-life trip, it was still a great way to learn actual use cases of NepalEHR.
We truly encourage you to watch this short video:
A photo session!
On the 4th day, the OpenMRS community has also prepared a fun activity to make the event more interactive, despite it happening only virtually. A photo session! To take part, we had to upload on our Zoom a background in colors of OpenMRS’ logo that we were asked to prepare earlier. It was fun because to make the photo more interesting we had to make jazz hands. If somebody couldn’t open a camera on a computer, there was an option to take a selfie with OpenMRS logo or colors so that it has something in common with other photos.
Every day at the Conference was better than the previous one. During these five days organizers have implemented a few crucial changes, so the virtual form became more friendly.
The 5th day was the last one of this year’s Implementers Conference and it was the most emotional one. During that day we had presentations like:
- Plenary: State of OpenMRS
- Point of Care Implementations
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
- Microfrontend Development Session & Implementer Tools
- Cross Site Data Integration
- Implementers: Negotiating Responsibility for Implementation
- Migrating from RefApp 2.x to Microfrontends
- Billing Solutions
- OpenMRS Security
- MF 3.0 Roadmap Session
Last day was obviously shorter than the previous ones, but it didn’t stop anybody from having fun and gathering knowledge in those last hours.
On OpenMRS’ site, you can find information about this year’s conference and take a look at highlights from the previous years.