Open Source EMR and Practice Management Software Appliance

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If you’re looking for a simple and fast way of trying out free EMR and practice management software, check out the OpenEMR 2.8.1 Virtual Machine Appliance. All you need to run it is a computer with VMware Server (freely available). It comes complete with an operating system and all the software you need.

Here’s how the authors describe it:

This is a comprehensive Open Source Medical Practice Management Software Appliance. It will provide office scheduling, electronic medical records, prescriptions, insurance billing, accounting, inventory, and access controls. The appliance will have many possible applications, such as a fully functional demo, a testing/developing platform, and as the starting point in real world clinic applications. The target audience is also broad and includes health care practitioners, clinic IT staff, and developers. A significant portion of the target audience will be more accustomed to Microsoft Windows, so it was decided to keep X-windows along with all the other default Mandriva software amenities.

OpenEMR is installed, along with FreeB, SQL-Ledger, and php-GACL. OpenEMR is the practice management software; home page is at . FreeB is the insurance billing/printing software. SQL-Ledger is the accounting/inventory software. Php-GACL is the access control software.

The most important part of this appliance is the documentation. It includes instructions on appliance installation, use (including all the needed logins/passwords), configuration, and detailed instructions on how it was built. It illustrates how to install printers, configure a custom email server, and install an automated backup scheme which incorporates encryption. The documentation also illustrates in detail how the appliance was built. This will allow others to easily modify/update the appliance. It will also allow easy migration to a native server, if required. The User Manual (html/pdf) is included in the ‘/UserManual’ directory of the compressed file, and can also be found on the Desktop of the appliance. The most current version of the manual can be found at(this is a large file, so may take some time to download):


Shahid N. Shah

Shahid Shah is an internationally recognized enterprise software guru that specializes in digital health with an emphasis on e-health, EHR/EMR, big data, iOT, data interoperability, med device connectivity, and bioinformatics.