HOWTO: use the OpenEMR wiki

Hi Folks-
Countless questions are asked here in the forum that can be answered by looking in the OpenEMR wiki, but nobody seems to know about its existence. Of course not ALL questions can be answered there but I came up with a brief tour of the OpenEMR wiki hoping it would improve peoples awareness of available resources. I’ve been working with a leading OpenEMR vendor giving user support for appx 10 years so I think I have a grip on the subject.

The OpenEMR wiki does look pretty disorganized, and it’s totally understandable that the disorganization can put people off using it. So here is my take on how to navigate the user- information part of it, hoping that will make it a little more popular.

The top level wiki page has pages on all the aspects of the entire OpenEMR project:
https://www.open-emr.org/wiki/index.php/OpenEMR_Wiki_Home_Page

Scroll down or click the link to section 2.10 User Manuals
https://www.open-emr.org/wiki/index.php/OpenEMR_Wiki_Home_Page#User_Manuals

Click the OpenEMR version you’re using, to get to the page with that version’s User Guide.

The User Guide page is duplicated for each new version of the OpenEMR, so it contains all the links to the materials published for earlier versions. It also has new links to documentation of features added in the new release.

NOTE: A skill I’m calling ‘transposing interfaces’ is where a user can look at documentation of a feature showing an older version’s interface. They identify the controls used in the old version, then find the same controls in the new version, and so can use the feature in the new version. This skill makes most of the older documentation accessible to users of the new versions, especially when the feature itself has not changed, just the interface.

The page’s Table of Contents is at the top of each User Guide page and gives links straight to the different sections.

’Users Guide’ is the written documentation of the User workflows. No, I do not know why the sub-section ‘Wiki Format’ exists because all written docs are in wiki format. But remember, this wiki has been added to over 15+ years by lots of different contributors. You will see inconsistencies!

  • This is where the specific docs are listed by the version that is pictured in the documentation.
    Often a small note will say what other/earlier versions the feature exists in.
  • This is where ‘transposing interfaces’ comes in handy. For example, the ‘Adding a new patient’ workflow is the same in v7.0.2 as in 4.2, just the screen is arranged differently. Making an ‘External ID’ mask takes the same steps in v7 as v4, just with some different pictures.

’Supplementary Topics’ and ‘Configuration Topics’ sections are collections of links to documentation of the more systems- oriented features of OpenEMR. Again, you will see inconsistencies.
’Modules’ should be documentation of particular OpenEMR modules, which is one of the methods available to incorporate features into the EMR. Although some of the links are not where they should be…

’Video Tutorials’ are just that. At one time a couple vendors and community members made some videos of certain features, but then quit. Most of the videos are for v5, but the rest are v4.x. Transposing interfaces makes the videos useful as alternative presentations of the same workflows which are shown in written format in the top part of the page.

AND FINALLY - a good way to find something in the wiki is to SEARCH for it!
At the bottom of every wiki page is a search tool:

search01

Enter your term (the simpler it is the more results you get).

The returns come in 2 sections:

  • ‘Page title matches’ where the term is found in the page title
  • ‘Page text matches’ where the term is found anywhere in the page.
    search02

Now, go out there and consume that OpenEMR wiki!
Best- HT

1 Like

Hi @htuck, is there a way for folks to update the wiki? I wanted to add some updated info about Clinical Reminders (which Brady and I had recently revised) but couldn’t find a way to do any authoring in the wiki
Thanks for any info

@htuck , When you get a chance play with various AI models available

  • Copilot if you are using MSFT Edge
  • Gemini if you are a Google user
  • Claude
  • ChatGPT

Most of these will do the search across various sources and some. It takes a bit of ‘prompt engineering’ but saves lot of time for new users. As an example, in Claude you can type

all questions relate to openemr 7.0.2

Understood. I’ll provide information and answers specifically related to OpenEMR version 7.0.2. If you have any questions about this particular version of the open-source electronic health record and medical practice management system, please go ahead and ask.

how to add new patient

Each model and its interface is bit different. CoPilot also selected a single youtube video and offered links to sources where the information came from.

Bottom line, these systems are good and getting better at filtering out what can seem like confusing set of documentations.

Best.

@hanksterr7 Hi Hank-
As far as I know the only way to update the wiki is to sign up for an account then edit the page, or add a new page.

Getting the account is simple: at the bottom of the main wiki page is a link:
https://www.open-emr.org/wiki/index.php/ACCOUNT_REQUEST_AND_WIKI_AUTHORSHIP_PRIMER

If you’re just updating an existing page with some new text, editing is easy: simply open the page for editing and add your content where it goes. You will need to scroll to the bottom and click ‘show preview’ of how your stuff renders and make any corrections needed, but once it looks good click ‘save changes’. Technically it’s not required to identify yourself as the author of your edits since the page history identifies all contributors.

If you wanna write complete pages with illustrations several free applications out there will do it. The linked wiki docs tell one way to do it; I’ve come up with another method I like using LibreOffice Write.

I suppose it might seem like more trouble than its worth to get the account, but once you have it, it’s only 3 clicks to log in and edit a page. So you just might get the urge to update more old docs, or add new content of your own!

Remember: OpenEMR needs more wiki.

Best- Harley

1 Like

Ah, ok. Will try your suggestions. I got an account previously, but did not notice the “request authorship” step.

The account request link on this page is broken :frowning:

Hi Hank-
That’s bizarre and mildly ironic.
I looked at the url of the link and searched for that page name, to find the page does not exist.
Last I heard Brady was the one who grants the accounts, but that was a while ago.
@brady.miller can you shed light on this?
Best- HT

Hi,
Because of spam accounts, we now only manually add new wiki accounts. Sorry for not getting back to you on your email @hanksterr7 regarding editing issues. Will reply to you there.
-brady

Hi @brady.miller
Thx for checking in on this.
For future reference, if one is trying to get a wiki acct does one DM you here in the forum ? Or what is preferred method-- I’ll update the wiki page.
Thanks- Harley

hi @htuck ,
Best to just email me at brady.g.miller@gmail.com with request.
thanks
-brady

thx for the info.
I can put that in the wiki?

  • HT
1 Like

Yep, ok to put in wiki. Thanks!