OpenMRS Volunteer Brian Kirui Improved Implementer Documentation

A new volunteer in the OpenMRS community has proposed helpful changes and additions to improve our implementation documentation. We’re so thankful for your hard work and expertise implementing OpenMRS, Brian!

About Brian

Brian Kirui is a Computer Science graduate currently pursuing a Masters of Science in Software Engineering from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. For the past 3 years he has lead implementations by working with developers to ensure adherence with MOH guidelines, with the support of the guidr site. He’s been involved in health systems by successfully running pilots of OpenMRS in 77 health facilities throughout 5 counties (of 47) in Kenya. He’s been integrating DHIS2 while facing challenges with power and bandwidth.

Brian has reached out to OpenMRS expressing interest in sharing the knowledge he’s acquired through implementing OpenMRS in Kenya, offering support to new users, facilitating trainings and improving documentation, and improving implementation strategy.

Documentation Resource Space

Implementer Documentation

Many other changes to the Implementation Process documentation were suggested; this is an area of specialty for Brian, based on his work experience overseeing implementations of OpenMRS in Kenya.

“People are interested in using OpenMRS, but don’t know where to start for estimating the effort of staff, stuff, and systems. Brian’s work is a great asset.” – Ellen Ball, Partners In Health

OpenMRS from Scratch Page

Primary implementer

Include report design skills for implementers and provide the link below https://wiki.openmrs.org/display/docs/Reporting+Module

Data entry clerks

Many health facilities have information management staff who can be trained as data entry clerks. Some implementers train cleaners to enter data.

Change to, Most health facilities have health records information staff who maintain data in the facility. Some facilities lacking such personnel opt to train casuals equipped with basic computer skills to perform these duties

Include System Users

System users such as clinicians and nurses need to have basic IT skills to assist in data entry process. For computer novices, it is recommended they attend IT training in preparation of adoption of the system.

Infrastructure Requirements

Machines for entering, storing, and accessing data,

Change Machines to Devices, since it also includes mobile devices.

Data Backup Devices – Low cost external backup devices such harddisks and flash disks are advised for backing up data in case of server / system failure. Scheduled backups is recommended(daily basis) to make it easier to perform system recovery

Implementation Process

Original: Install Windows Server 2003 on server along with supporting software (e.g., antivirus, firewall),

Proposed: Install the most preferred OS, windows or Linux operating systems are both recommended(Provide Link for windows / linux installation)

Set up client workstations for data entry

Include both firefox and chrome browsers

Implementation Process

Proposed adding the following sections:

  1. Training
    1. Create a training plan, that may include both classroom and departmental training depending on nature of your implementation
    2. It is advisable to create an OpenMRS test instances for user training purposes before actual go-live use of system
    3. Issuing simple tests for your users after completion of each training session
    4. Training of Trainers (TOT’s) approach is recommended especially for larger implementations and largely contributes to sustainability of system especially if the TOT’s are actual system users
  2. Stakeholder Engagement
    1. Successful OpenMRS system implementation largely depends on top down involvement of all stakeholders in the implementation process. Involve the users, managers, sponsors and relevant stakeholders in all processes right from requirements gathering to project implementation. Top-down collaboration tends to provide avenues for providing solutions to challenges that may be experienced during the implementation process

Ongoing Support

  • Include Provide disaster recovery plan such as providing standby servers / recovery disks to provide backup in case of system failure
  • Access to modules updates
  • Access to software updates such as tomcat, MySQL

Brian’s full proposal can be seen here.

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