Thursday, August 13, 2009

Getting Started With OSCAR - The Homework

You want to deploy an EMR and you are scratching your head trying to figure out where to begin.

The first thing to do is shop around.

OSCAR is a wonderfully powerful and easy to use EMR. It is also, by far, the most cost effective solution of any available (as you know, OSCAR has $0 licensing fees). OSCAR is the only OntarioMD certified open source EMR. OSCAR is only EMR that, by design and legal license, can never lock you out of your system, nor block your access to your patient information. Forever.

However, there are other EMR options. Please check out the market leader Practice Solutions. Practice Solutions is owned by the CMA and thus you will have some level of confidence that the organization will be around for a while.

While comparing OSCAR to Practice Solutions, notice that the user interfaces on both the solutions are easy to use and based on modern architectural paradigms. Both OSCAR and Practice Solutions both offer a similar range of functionality and features and both offer support for similar governmental and technical standards.

OSCAR and Practice Solutions have dramatically different commercial and licensing models.

While shopping around, it is very important that you understand not only the day to day costs and fees, but also the legal rights that you retain for both yourself and the data that you enter into the EMR. Read the fine print. OSCAR's license agreement can be found here.

OSCAR is an open source licensed solution and is free of software bombs. Practice Solutions is not open source and does contain software bombs.

There are other EMR vendors available, and you should evaluate all of them, but chances are your choice will come down to the two market leaders: OSCAR, the #1 open source EMR in Canada, and Practice Solutions, the #1 closed source EMR in Canada.

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