On Tuesday I attended a meeting convening a small but diverse group of individuals who are developing, implementing, or considering implementing OpenMRS (http://openmrs.org/wiki/OpenMRS_Overview). During one of the afternoon breakout sessions we discussed challenges organizations often face when deploying OpenMRS in the field. Most of the challenges we identified fell into one of the following themes or categories: cost, infrastructure, human resources/training, and technology (product).
Here I’ve outlined the key issues we raised pertaining to human resources (i.e., staff capacity and support needs) and training. When able, I've also included links to resources that address these issues. This list is hardly complete, and it would be great to have other Health IT members expand on it! Please feel free to share additional challenges, proven or potential solutions, related questions, and especially your own experiences. While the meeting breakout discussion focused on OpenMRS, it would also be helpful to learn from folks who are implementing alternative EMR systems.
OpenMRS Challenges Related to Human Resources (Staff Capacity) & Training:
1. Training technical staff in OpenMRS development and implementation
> Partners In Health (PIH) has developed a course in Rwanda called "E-Health: Software Development and Implementation" (EHSDI) to train local computer science graduates how to develop and implement OpenMRS software:
> Go to http://www.ghdonline.org/tech/discussion/rwandan-openmrs-training-course/ to read a previous Health IT discussion about the EHSDI curriculum and to learn how the Sustainable Sciences Institute (SSI) plans to implement a similar course in collaboration with the MOH in Nicaragua.
2. Training clinicians in use and benefits of OpenMRS
> For a high-level checklist of staff and training needs based on PIH's experience, please go to http://model.pih.org/node/536
> What resources, training materials, and strategies are other organizations and programs using to train their clinical staff?
3. Clinician buy-in and involvement
> How do you include local staff in design and testing to ensure on-site investment?