3 Best Free and Open Source EMR Software

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Free doesn’t mean you have to compromise on utility. These free and open source EMR tools fulfill all the essential tasks your medical practice needs.

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As a doctor you may not be able to avoid data entry or complicated payment structures completely. But you can minimize the cost of going paperless by using free electronic medical records (EMR) software.

In this article, we’ll look at the three best free and open source EMR solutions listed on Capterra. But don’t assume they are inferior tools just because they are available for no cost.

This article looks at three highly rated free EMR software options. See the full list of free EMR software solutions here.

These solutions offer all the core EMR features (charting, decision support, and coding assistance) essential to medical practices.

It’s important to note, however, that free solutions typically either limit the number of physicians who can use them at the free level or require significant developer time and talent to implement correctly.

What does β€œbest” mean? Each of the three tools in this article has received a minimum user rating of four (out of five) in Capterra’s directory in the past year. You can find our full methodology here.

Here are our top three picks (listed alphabetically):

3 best free and open source emr software

3 best free and open source EMR software

1. 75Health

75Health is a free, cloud-based solution that helps medical practices manage patient information and digital records. Its functionalities include e-prescribing, charting, clinical decision support, a built-in scheduler, drug list management, vaccination tracking, appointment scheduling, and voice recognition.

Pros Cons
  • Capterra reviewers appreciate 75Health’s ease of use and seamless migration from paper records to a paperless system. They like features such as inbuilt automatic alerts, automatic patient reminders, auto report generation, and the appointment scheduler.
  • Several users noted that the SMS alert function could be improved (made faster). Some users also wish there were fewer steps required to add records to the system.

Cost to upgrade: Contact vendor.

Highly rated by: During 2018-2019, 82% of user reviews came from small practices (fewer than 200 employees), 6% from midsize practices (201 to 1,000 employees), and 12% from large practices (more than 1,000 employees).

Appointment scheduling in 75Health

Appointment scheduling in 75Health (Source)

2. OpenEMR

OpenEMR is a free and open source tool that offers EHR and practice management capabilities. Its main features include appointment scheduling, e-prescribing, compliance tracking, charting, voice recognition, billing, and a patient portal.

Pros Cons
  • Capterra reviewers find OpenEMR extremely easy to understand and use. They also like its charting, patient check-in, and documentation capabilities.
  • Most users mention that the software requires either a strong in-house IT staff with significant technical skills and experience to install and maintain the system, or hiring an IT consultant.

Cost to upgrade: None. (However, professional support comes at an additional fee, ranging from $40-$120 per hour.)

Highly rated by: During 2018-2019, 100% of user reviews came from small practices (fewer than 200 employees).

Appointment scheduling in OpenEMR

Appointment scheduling in OpenEMR (Source)

3. OpenMRS 2

OpenMRS 2 is a free and open source tool that offers EMR and practice management capabilities. Its main features include appointment scheduling, charting, billing, a patient portal, reporting, and patient workflow management. The software is designed to be useful for practices lacking IT or technical staff, and can be customized by adding new data items, forms, and reports without programming.

Pros Cons
  • Capterra reviewers find OpenMRS 2 easy to use. They also like its customizability to suit specific requirements.
  • Several users mention that the software is difficult to set up without significant knowledge of computers and programming expertise.

Cost to upgrade:$1,500-$3,000 (Source)

Highly rated by: During 2018-2019, 100% of user reviews came from large practices (more than 1,000 employees).

Billing operation in OpenMRS 2

Billing function in OpenMRS 2 (Source)

Next steps

After evaluating these three products, the next step is deciding which EMR tool you should actually use. Here’s how to go about it:

  • Compare usage limits in the free plan: Eliminate tools that don’t meet your needs in terms of data storage or the number of free users.
  • Calculate upgrade cost: Decide on an annual budget for your EMR tool, and eliminate tools that exceed it. Ensure that the available upgrade plan has all the required features your growing practice will need.
  • Read user reviews: Comb through users reviews on Capterra to assess the relevance of EMR tools in your practice.

If you currently use or have used a free EMR tool that worked well for your practice, let us know in the comments below.

For more information related to EMR software, check out these resources:


Methodology

Products considered for this article must be free. We classified a product as free if:

  • It offers a free, standalone version of the software.
  • It is not a trial version of the software where you must purchase a product version after a limited amount of time.

Selection criteria

The products that met the above criteria were then evaluated against our EMR software definition: Electronic Medical Records (EMR) software automates the clinical operations of healthcare providers. It allows medical professionals to create, store, update, and share digital patient charts, histories, medications, test results, and more.

This check verified the basic EMR software capabilities and appropriateness for the category. A product was classified as EMR software if it contained these core features: charting, decision support, and coding assistance; and at least four of the common features: order entry, ONC-ATCB certification, patient portal, reporting/analytics, and clinical dashboard.

*Note: Listed pros and cons are derived from features listed on the product website and product user reviews on Gartner Digital Markets domains (Capterra, GetApp, and Software Advice). They do not represent the views of, nor constitute an endorsement by, Capterra or its affiliates. Reviews data was used to determine the target business size of the product.

Looking for Electronic Medical Records software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Electronic Medical Records software solutions.

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Comments

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I am looking for a standalone, out of the box, emr/ehr to use for training adults looking for work. It needs to be free, easy to download and navigate (I’m no developer) and would be great if I could add some synthetic patient data for a more realistic training.
I have Moodle free version, tried to load an emr and set up training modules but it was too techy for me so easy download, easy use, is key.
All help appreciated! We can get more folks in healthcare workforce with basic health record training!

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Hi,
Been dwelling if I should have an EMR for our school’s clinic. My former clinic, a company clinic, has it’s own EMR developed by their developers (it’s a big telecom company) and I wonder if there’s an open sourced version of the likes.
I’m looking for a software wherein I can input & view laboratory results of students, not just scan and upload but encode.
And of course add into their profile each clinic visit. I really want a paper less practice which we practice in my former company. Btw, hope you can recommend something accessible here in the Philippines.
Thanks in advance πŸ™‚

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Hi there,
We’re asking our resident EMR expert to look at your request and respond with some options.

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Hi. I have a clinic that provides physicals to drivers. I need a free software that keeps track of their appointments and reminds them which can be 3, 6 , 12 or 24 months. I also need a system that can keep track of daily payments and the medications that the driver is currently taking. What free software at this time do you think would best fit my needs?

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Hi Zuulu,

Try taking a look here: https://www.capterra.com/electronic-medical-records-software/?utf8=%E2%9C%93&pricing_model%5B5%5D=true&users%5B1%5D=2&platform%5B2%5D=55&commit=Apply+Filters&sort_options=

Removing the State, Zip might require contacting the vendors to see if they can make adjustments to their software for your situation. Please let me know if I can help with anything else!

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I am looking for an “out of the box” windows-based standalone or server solution for a small church hospital or small and medium businesses in Liberia, West Africa. Most likely a package that can be easily modified to remove State, Zip, etc. i.e. Especially those design for US businesses. I would also like to add “user-friendly” since most of the users will be data clerks and doctors. The majority of the doctors in Liberia now were “born before computers”.

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Thanks for the list. Great write up with pros and cons. Will check them out. Thanks again.

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Thanks for the great list. I found that you really need to review each one closely before deciding which is best for you. Having said that, I did find that a few of them are really good, while the rest is not usable.

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i am a PCP and i recommend talkehr. its free and with number of new features such as voice assistant and AI. its easy to use and combined with PMS, RCM. the billing is very cost effective. support is excellent. i recommend free talkehr.

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I pay $500 per month for Kareo and looking for a free software, I see OpenEMR is most recommended in the chat group, any suggestion…?

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Hi there!
You might want to start your search with our Mental Health Software directory. While some of the software does have the e-prescribe feature, you can narrow your results on the left to include treatment plans and initial assessments to include notes about referrals.
I hope this helps!
Let us know if we can help with anything else πŸ™‚

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So… This thread may be dead, but I remain hopeful.

Looking for a record system that would be appropriate for a Mental Health practice. I do not prescribe, but I do refer out, as well as accept referrals to and from medical and allied health professionals.

Thank you.

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Hello. I have a small practice of pain management. I am trying to look for the EMR software that allows me to print my prescriptions to my patients and my office. He prescribin hello. I have a small practice of pain management. I am trying to look for EMR software allows me to print my prescriptions to my patients at my office. E-prescribe does not work for me and I need to print out my prescriptions. Now I already spent money on printers which are supposed to do the job. But what I’m having problems with is finding the right software? Can anybody please help me out in guiding me to the right software. Thank you

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As being a new practice (less than one year) and trying to get on board with the paperless trend (which seems to generate more paper), looking for something less complicated and can adjust and grow with us (free preferred). Any and all information would be appreciated.

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I am not sure if you know about http://www.healthphr.com, but if you are in need of web based EMR/PHR software on the cloud then your search definitely ends here. Checkout http://www.healthphr.com right now. Built with latest technology, keep yourself upto date with real time notifications.

HealthPHR | Health On The Cloud

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I was surprised that GNU Health was not included amongst the 7 systems presented. However, the article and the comments posted were very useful.

Is there any intention to update this article, given that new versions of several of the systems mentioned, in both the article and comments, have been released?

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I’ve been using Practice Fusion because it’s free and I have a micro practice. It’s a very substandard EHR and if they think it is worth $100 per month they are nuts. It’s worth $25 maybe. AND, they never bothered to notify me about ANY upcoming changes. The only thing to do is figure out how to get the data out and transferred. What a pain. They have always been completely out of touch with their users and the nightmare continues.

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Practice Fusion is changing to > $90 a month in June πŸ™ No longer going to be a free platform, now I have to recreate my health records, what a bummer

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As some of you may have heard, Practice Fusion will no longer be free. “…we are moving the Practice Fusion platform to a paid subscription model beginning on June 1, 2018.”

As an aside, my comments to them in response: “Literally the ONLY reason I remained with Practice Fusion is that it was “free,” with ads being the only “cost.” I got what I paid for, and the product was worth the price and not much more, but I will not likely support the new buyers with $$ in their eyes, unless of course the price is ridiculously low compared to other, higher quality EHRs.”

If anyone would like to dispute that, and affirm that PF might be worth a modest fee (they did not mention price in their email) compared to their experience with other EHRs, it would save me the data transfer issue and headache. (That was my practical question in my email: “What will be your process for transferring data to another EHR system? …such a transfer can be laborious, and sales reps usually go into a fair bit of detail as to how we can transfer the records from the service one is leaving, to a new service.”

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Practice Fusion will be charging as of May 2018. Should probably remove it from Number 1 on the list and what there are doing is terrible. I have to get the charts out, as they are holding them hostage.

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