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Information Systems OpenSource

OSCAR EMR and FHIR

OSCAR (Open Source Clinical Application and Resource) EMR is a web-based electronic medical record (EMR) system initially developed for primary care clinics in Canada. Oscar is a Java spring based web application with a relatively old codebase. OSCAR is widely used in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia and is supported by many Oscar service providers.

Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) is an HL7 standard describing data schema and a RESTful API for health information exchange. FHIR is fast emerging as the de-facto standard for interoperability between health information systems because of its simplicity and the use of existing web standards such as REST.

OSCAR being primarily designed for primary care clinics does not support interoperability with other systems out of the box. FHIR in its entirety is not supported by OSCAR. A partial implementation of FHIR to support the immunization dataflow as FHIR bundles is available. One of the requests that constantly pops up in the OSCAR community is the need for a full FHIR API implementation for OSCAR.

We had some initial discussions on how to go about implementing a FHIR API for OSCAR EMR. FHIR is a REST API exposing FHIR Resources such as Patients, Observations and CarePlan as JSON resources. The HAPI-FHIR java library defines all the FHIR resources and the associated functions. The first step in building the API is to map the relatively messy OSCAR data model to FHIR resources. The Patient resource has been mapped and is available in the OSCAR repository. This (/src/main/java/org/oscarehr/integration/fhir/model/Patient.java) can be used as the template to map other required resources.

The next step is to extend the REST API that is currently available to expose FHIR APIs after authentication. If you have some ideas/expertise/interest in this, please comment below.

Categories
Resources

Oscar eForm Generator

OSCAR Eform Generator
OSCAR Eform Generator

Electronic capture of patient data is vital in any health information system. It ‘s hard to bundle every form that a clinician will ever need along with an EMR. The EMRs adopt various strategies to solve this problem, but a general standard is lacking.

Eforms is OSCAR’s solution to this problem. The OSCAR eForms are arguably one of the most useful features of OSCAR and is being used in many settings beyond which it was initially designed for. Community eForms can be downloaded from the OSCAR Canada Users Society.

EForm is not an elegant solution and creating complex eforms require programming expertise. Reporting of data collected through eForms is difficult because of the way in which the data is abstracted as key-value pairs in the database.

Oscar provides basic eForm generator functionality built-in using a form image in the background with controls transposed on top. However, it is not user-friendly and lacks the ability to save and continue the work later.

Oscar EForm Generator

I have created an online OSCAR eForm generator that solves most of the above-mentioned problems. Here is an advanced OSCAR eform generator with drag and drop controls. You can save the form as a text file and continue editing later after loading the content. It also supports radio-buttons by internally mapping to OSCAR supported code. You can pull OSCAR demographic fields and define complex show/hide rules. You can cut and paste the generated code into the OSCAR eform editor. The form is generated in your browser using javascript and it is not sent or saved on our server.

Watch the video below to see how it is done. This is still being tested and is not ready for production. Contact us for more details. Please report bugs, function requests, and feed backs.

The application is available here: http://nuchange.ca/oscar-eform-generator .