Hi @Mark_Moralls -
I got my BS CompSci / Health Informatics degree in June of 2014. One of the suggestions about finding work with our new degree was to contribute to Free/ Open Source programs and get noticed by the companies that are involved with it. Mine is a boring story- no drama, no tension: over the summer after I graduated I discovered OpenEMR. I installed it and wrote documentation as a way to get to know the application better. In October I got hired by one of the vendors. As far as I’m concerned, FOSS is a great way to find a job.
And OpenEMR is a good way to familiarize oneself with the general principles of what EHRs do, though you’ll find huge variations in the different approaches to the tasks: Epic EHR has a different model of healthcare than GE Centricity, which does things differently than OpenEMR. But they’re all moving patients through the healthcare process, so have certain commonalities that are useful to know, no matter which EHR you end up working with.
I was a nurse for a long time and that has come in handy in understanding the work I do with OpenEMR supporting Drs’ offices. If you don’t have experience in healthcare you might want to take a look at O’Reilley’s ‘Hacking Healthcare’. It is almost as good as a nursing degree. I got mine as a free download back when it was published but I don’t know if the freebie is still available.
And finally- if you hang around the OpenEMR forum a while you’ll probably see mentions of a guy named Art Eaton, one of the old time developers in the Project. Back in the day he came out with a nifty thing called ‘Print-a-Patient’ that generates dummy patient data. It’s a wonderful utility if you can cope with 3 things which I choose to view as educational opportunities:
- It originally ran under, what, Win 7? Win 98? It still works if you can make Win 10 handle it, but it runs fine under wine on linux systems.
- OpenEMR changed the structure of its database when it moved into v 5.0 (I think) so the insurance data that Print-a-Patient generates don’t fit any more. When you run the program you’ll see you can simply choose to not generate insurance data. But the demographics and other data should import just fine.
- You’ll need to install phpMyAdmin or Adminer in order to import the MySQL data files. But if you’re going to get to know OpenEMR as a dev you’re going to need direct database access anyway.
Here’s a link to Print-a-Patient:
Welcome to the Community, and see you around the forums!