OSCAR: an open source electronic medical health record

The Ontario Government’s electronic medical record fiasco spent a billion dollars with little to show for it. At McMaster University, physicians and programmers have developed a comprehensive, secure, web-based and open source electronic health records system that is ready to be rolled out across Canada.

There are several major differences in the way the system was developed. While the government used a top down approach with consultants who do not actually treat patients, the team at McMaster used a ground-up approach based on clinical need and patient-encounter experience.

The McMaster EMR, Oscar, is an open-source program that is continually upgraded through direct clinical use. Physicians, who have programming experience or programmers hired by the clinical staff develop modifications that are submitted to McMaster for quality control and added to the program.

What does this mean for the patient? What can it do for them to assist them in being proactive in their health care management?

Oh yes, one more thing. The McMaster EMR is FREE!

  • Dr. David H Chan, MD, CCFP, MSc, FCFP, Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University and a family physician at the Stonechurch Family Health Centre and the developer of OSCAR

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