Our study has assessed the benefits that electronics health records can bring to small health care facilities by qualitatively and quantitatively analyzing a limited number of open source software suites in the area of medical informatics. We have investigated the way in which these benefits may be achieved by implementing the presented software solutions, taking care to highlight the peculiarities of the open source model of development that prove to be differentiating factors against equivalent closed source commercial solutions. Not taking into account the financial aspect (free software solutions have no licensing costs), we have tried to discern the intrinsic advantages of the model of free software development and its particularities in this specific area of investigation: health informatics.


free software, open source, medical informatics, electronic health records