EMR’s in Kenya – OpenMRS vs Clinicea 1

Healthcare software has seen an unprecedented development in IT related products that have closely matched the general trend in the industry. Software is used in areas like patient care, nursing, pharmacy, public health or clinical trials and research.

The most common practical appliances of this technological advancement include:

  • Electronic Medical Records, used increasingly in patient care, as a history of relevant information and treatments must be kept. Data storage over a number of years causes significant archiving costs in the case of classical paper-based records.
  • Billing, scheduling and research health information systems provide faster and more efficient means of data storage and access.
  • Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS) designed to assist physicians and other health professionals with decision tasks, such as determining diagnosis of patient data.

In this context I will present before you two leading EMR solutions for Doctors, Clinics & Hospital OPD’s (a) OpenMRS (b) Clinicea. Let us go over the feature set of each product before drawing a comparison.

1. OpenMRS 

OpenMRS is a collaborative open source project to develop software to support the delivery of health care in developing countries. It grew out of the critical need to scale up the treatment of HIV in Africa but from the start was conceived as a general purpose electronic medical record system that could support the full range of medical treatments.

OpenMRS allows users to self-customize an electronic medical record (EMR) system without needing to know a programming language. The modular platform is built around a scalable conceptual database structure, with the advantage of being independent of any particular type of medical data or data collection form. The system also features an application programming interface (API) and web front-end to allow for more customization and easier deployment.

System Features 

  • Central concept dictionary: Definitions of all data (both questions and answers) are defined in a centralized dictionary, allowing for robust, coded data.
  • Security: User authentication.
  • Privilege-based access: User roles and permission system.
  • Patient repository: Creation and maintenance of patient data, including demographics, clinical observations, encounter data, orders, etc.
  • Multiple identifiers per patient: A single patient may have multiple medical record numbers.
  • Data entry: With the FormEntry module, clients with InfoPath (included in Microsoft Office 2003 and later) can design and enter data using flexible, electronic forms. With the HTML FormEntry module, forms can be created with customized HTML and run directly within the web application.
  • Data export: Data can be exported into a spreadsheet format for use in other tools (Excel, Access, etc.)
  • Standards support: HL7 engine for data import.
  • Modular architecture: An OpenMRS Module can extend and add any type of functionality to the existing API and webapp.
  • Patient workflows: An embedded patient workflow service allows patients to be put into programs (studies, treatment programs, etc) and tracked through various states.
  • Cohort management: The cohort builder allows you to create groups of patients for data exports, reporting, etc.
  • Relationships: Relationships between any two people (patients, relatives, caretakers, etc.)
  • Patient merging: Merging duplicate patients
  • Localization / internationalization: Multiple language support and the possibility to extend to other languages with full UTF-8 support.
  • Support for complex data: Radiology images, sound files, etc. can be stored as “complex” observations.
  • Reporting tools: Flexible reporting tools.
  • Person attributes: The attributes of a person can be extended to meet local needs.

 Specialities Supported

  • HIV/Aids Care.
  • Drug Resistance TB care
  • Primary Care.
  • Oncology.


  • Community Clinics & Programs


  • Free

System Requirements

  • Minimum Requirements 1 GHz processor or better, 256 MB of memory or more, 40 GB hard drive or larger.
  • RAID and appropriate backup facilities.
  • Firefox web browser.
  •  Java Runtime Environment (JRE). Minimum version required is Java 6 although it is recommended to install Java 7.
  • Apache Tomcat 6.0.29.
  • MySQL.

2. Clinicea 

Clinicea is a globally loved medical software for doctors, clinics & hospitals. It supports over 20 Specialties enabling practitioners to manage all their requirements through this single solution. This is not just any medical software, with Clinicea you get a global brand, and a highly experienced team with 40 years of collective experience in healthcare solutions.

Most EMR software’s focus on providing tons of features often overlooking usability aspect from the doctor’s point of view.  Doctors are compelled to think and pause at every step, slowing things significantly. Clinicea is built on a robust and extensible healthcare framework that can be easily extended. This means it can replicate the Paper-Based Forms you use, Clinical Templates you like, Workflows you have, into precise digital Case-Sheets. This means you continue to do what you were doing before, without the need to re-train or re-learn and ‘no changes’ are required at all.

Clinicea comes with a decade of experience in working with doctors across the globe giving it a unique advantage. Clinicea targets actual workflows of doctors & clinics. This ensures they get a ‘clean view’ of only what is relevant to their work.

System Features

  • Appointments with SMS: SMS or Email, appointment reminders to patients automatically. Clinic staff is able to manage scheduling for multiple doctors, chairs, operating rooms and dialysis machines in minutes, without training.
  • Manage Multiple Clinics: Whether operating from 2 different clinics or running a chain of 50 clinics spread across cities, Clinicea enables the doctor manage all aspects of his practise centrally and simply.
  • Pharmacy & Inventory: Pharmacy is linked to Prescriptions, letting the user see live stock when prescribing Rx, and ensuring billing is just 1-Click. Full support for Bar-coding, QR Codes, Batching and more supported.
  • Medical Records: Clinicea provides tailor-made software supporting 20 specialties. It also Includes, Therapies, PMH, Rx, Investigations, RoS, Exams, Immunization, Medical Calculators and more.
  • Billing and Referral: Easy billing and full support for Packages, Advance, Refunds and Taxation supported. Enables instant patient referrals with just a click of a button. Tracking of referral financials and outcomes.
  • Use anytime, anywhere: Clinicea is a web based solution running on the Cloud platform. This enables access 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, across desktops, laptops and tablets. Clinicea works on both Windows & Mac.
  • Premium Support: Local support at no extra charge. 24 hour response time Guarantee.
  • Unlimited Data: Uses commercial database that is unlimited in size and has support provided from Fortune 100 companies.
  • Security: Clinicea runs within highly secure data centers managed and operated by Microsoft Global Foundation Services (GFS). Durability and fault tolerance is secured by maintaining multiple copies of all data in different geographically dispersed data nodes.
  • Data export: Clinic reports such as bills, payments, registration and stock can be exported into a spreadsheet format for use in other tools (Excel, Access, etc.)
  • Customizable: Clinicea is built on a robust and extensible healthcare framework that can be easily extended. This means it can replicate the Paper-Based Forms you use, Clinical Templates you like, Workflows you have, into precise digital Case-Sheets. This means you continue to do what you were doing before, without the need to re-train or re-learn and “no changes” are required at all.
  • Onsite Training: Clinicea provides an option for training to be delivered at your location. This is ideal for users who want a tailored training and extensive interaction with a Clinicea expert scheduled when you need it.
  • Patient Portal: Enables patients to communicate with doctors and access important information over the Internet. Features include patient’s reminders, statements, patient education materials and lab results electronically.

Specialties Supported

Allergy and Immunology, Anaesthesiology, Cardiology, Chiropractice, Dentistry, Dermatology, Diabetology, Emergency Medicine, Endocrinology, ENT, Family Practice, Gastroenterology, General Surgery, Haematology, Infertility, Internal medicine, Nephrology, Neurology, Obstetrics/Gynaecology, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedics, Pain Management, Paediatrics, Plastic Surgery, Podiatry, Psychiatry, Pulmonology, Rheumatology, Trichology and Urology.


  • Private Practise
  • Private/Public Hospitals
  • Community Clinics


  • $50 per month

System Requirements

  • Internet connection 512kbps
  • Processor 2.5GHz
  • Screen Resolution 1600 X 1200
  • 2GB RAM
  • Google Chrome Browser


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