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  Using OpenEMR in Family Practice
OpenEMR Posted by Mark Leeds on Sunday January 29, 2006 @ 05:59 PM
from the OpenEMR dept.
We are running OpenEMR from a virtual machine in our Family Practice office now with no problem. Digg this article

We have been open for about 10 days now and we have been using OpenEMR from the first day with no problems. We use a virtual machine played with the free vmware player. It is a complete linux system set up by Rod Roark with OpenEMR, Freeb, and SQL-Ledger. The vm is run under Windows XP on a Toshiba laptop with a P4 1.8ghz and 1GB of RAM. In the morning, I load the vm and the other computers in the office, on the network, can log in by clicking on the desktop link to OpenEMR. At the end of the day, I back up the vm to a DVD. Sometimes I take the laptop home to work and sometimes not. My staff has taken to it with no complaints. We have a hybrid system of keeping a limited paper chart and the EMR chart. When I can afford it, I will upgrade to a nice fast desktop machine to run the vm with a fast, high capacity DVD writer. I am now working on customizing OpenEMR a little to work better for us. To keep things simple, I make a copy of the vm to experiment with so I don't mess up our real data or system. This is definitely the way things will be done in the future. I highly recommend that physicians who want to save themselves a lot of headaches with EMR and practice management software should look into it.

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  • The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.
    ( Reply )

    Over 10 comments listed. Printing out index only.
    Re: Using OpenEMR in Family Practice
    by Patrick on Monday January 30, 2006 @ 09:25 PM
    If this is a permanent fixture in your practice wouldn't it make sense to dedicate a server to openEMR? I can understand using vmware on a laptop for initial testing & trial but not for a production system. Running linux on top of windows xp also puts your configuration at a higher security risk (two OSs to patch instead of one)
    [ Reply to this ]
    Re: Using OpenEMR in Family Practice
    by techguy on Tuesday January 31, 2006 @ 05:49 AM
    I've always been a little nervous running production applications using VMWare on a server. I'm getting more confident in that choice, but I could never imagine running it on a laptop. Great to know that it is working for you. I look forward to seeing how this develops. I do think VMWare(or whatever Microsoft comes up with to compete with it) will be the future of servers.

    John
    EMR and HIPAA Blog
    [ Reply to this ]
    Rod, why this config (a vm within XP laptop)?
    by Rick Stockton on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @ 12:12 AM
    Since Mark considers it OK to leave the laptop at work sometimes, it's not an issue of "the office isn't secure enough to leave unattended at night".

    Like the other commentators, I feel that running mission-critical Linux-based S/W on top of a vm in Windows (XP) is a really bad idea. There are a bunch of mandatory "System Services", they constitute large security risks but you can't run WIndows without them. IMHO, it is IMPOSSIBLE to adequately lock down Windows XP.

    If you want to run with multiple VMs, I recommend that you take a good look at using Xen:
    http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/Research/SRG/netos/xen/

    A lot of key Linux players (Red Hat, Novell, Andrew Morton....) are working on adding Xen support right in the Linux Kernel, rather than supporting it as a side-bar "add-on".

    You can also simply use your current Windows vm implementation to "play with", while using a native Linux machine (desktop or portable) for production. HP has announced that they will be selling Mandriva OS pre-installed in South America, I bet they'd be happy to tell you which USA models can support this OS.

    I'd also note that K3B, the *REALLY GREAT* DVD burner program, has a nice macro language. You could write a little script to shut down MySQL, perform the backup, and restart MySQL via atd.

    Another backup scheme, way slower, but really good as a "total disaster" backup, is to take one of those "emergency recovery" Linux CDs, reburn it with a script to mount and copy all of your hard disk partitions to an external USB drive.

    This one would be good for saving you from rebuilding the System (full of maintenance updates) if the System Disk in your main computer goes totally bad. Do this one once every couple of weeks... then, if the computer dies, you do this one first, then restore the data from the latest daily DVD(s).

    In my experience (nearly 30 years), 3 things ALWAYS HAPPEN:

    • Disks crash at the worst possible time.
    • Only then do the people realize that their backup procedure DIDN'T INCLUDE ALL THE STUFF THEY NEED!
    • Then it turns out, they didn't actually --> DO THE BACKUP, Since Mark considers it OK to leave the laptop at work sometimes, it's not an issue of "the office isn't secure enough to leave unattended at night".

      Like the other commentators, I feel that running mission-critical Linux-based S/W on top of a vm in Windows (XP) is a really bad idea. There are a bunch of mandatory "System Services", they constitute large security risks but you can't run WIndows without them. IMHO, it is IMPOSSIBLE to adequately lock down Windows XP.

      If you want to run with multiple VMs, I recommend that you take a good look at using Xen:
      http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/Research/SRG/netos/xen/

      A lot of key Linux players (Red Hat, Novell, Andrew Morton....) are working on adding Xen support right in the Linux Kernel, rather than supporting it as a side-bar "add-on".

      You can also simply use your current Windows vm implementation to "play with", while using a native Linux machine (desktop or portable) for production. HP has announced that they will be selling Mandriva OS pre-installed in South America, I bet they'd be happy to tell you which USA models can support this OS.

      I'd also note that K3B, the *REALLY GREAT* DVD burner program, has a nice macro language. You could write a little script to shut down MySQL, perform the backup, and restart MySQL via atd.

      Another backup scheme, way slower, but really good as a "total disaster" backup, is to take one of those "emergency recovery" Linux CDs, reburn it with a script to mount and copy all of your hard disk partitions to an external USB drive.

      This one would be good for saving you from rebuilding the System (full of maintenance updates) if the System Disk in your main computer goes totally bad. Do this one once every couple of weeks... then, if the computer dies, you do this one first, then restore the data from the latest daily DVD(s).

      In my experience (nearly 30 years), 3 things ALWAYS HAPPEN:

      • Disks crash at the worst possible time.
      • Only then do the people realize that their backup procedure DIDN'T INCLUDE ALL THE STUFF THEY NEED!
      • Then it turns out, they didn't actually --> DO THE BACKUP,

    [ Reply to this ]
    Re: Using OpenEMR in Family Practice
    by Tim Cook on Wednesday February 01, 2006 @ 02:12 PM
    Mark,

    I think it would be very helpful if you could keep a weekly (or so) journal about your OpenEMR experience and give us all an update in 6 months and one year.

    Cheers,
    Tim
    [ Reply to this ]
    Re: Using OpenEMR in Family Practice
    by Tim Churches on Saturday February 11, 2006 @ 09:51 PM

    Is the partition on which OpenEMR exists on the laptop encrypted? If not, then you are exposing all your patients' very private medical data to a security risk far greater than than posed by the operating systems - that of theft. Laptops are stolen all the time, particularly if they are ever left in cars.

    Similarly the back-up DVDs should not be taken off-site unless they are encrypted.

    Tim C

    [ Reply to this ]
    Re: Using OpenEMR in Family Practice
    by Naina Mohamed on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @ 08:43 AM
    Are you currently using openemr?? Please provide your experience with latest version of OpenEMR
    [ Reply to this ]
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