Greetings to all!
I am the Chief Information Officer at Hospital Albert Schweitzer Haiti. OpenMRS-JR is a J2ME application with full OpenMRS integration. We have started to pilot OpenMRS-JR on the field. To get more background on HAS and OpenMRS-JR you can see our first post here…
Since then, we have received several updates of OpenMRS-JR which have enabled us to implement an initial trail. They include…
1.) We can enter a form without the patient being first synchronized to the phone. You must know their identifier.
2.) We can use the Nokia C3 phone (with its QWERTY keypad)
We ended up receiving a grant which allowed for additional phone purchases and more remote deployment than our initial plan. This allowed for field deployment of 14 phones which were assigned to new community health workers. (We decided new staff would be less resistant to the new technology/process than the old staff, so we started with the new staff.) This also allowed the hiring of a full-time tech support/training staff. Eventually we will roll out to the remaining community health workers and some dispensary staff. Some of them are already asking when they will get their telephones.
We developed training manuals (in Haitian Creole) on how to use the phones and OpenMRS-JR. We broke the training down into manageable size groups. Initial training for the phones lasted 3 days. We went had a one-day refresher course.
Problems we didn’t yet run into…
1.) It was unknown how many completed forms would be able to be entered onto the phone before the memory was full and the completed forms would need to be sent to the OpenMRS server and removed from the phone.
2.) None of the phones have been broken, lost or stolen!
Problems we ran into…
1.) The solar chargers we deployed can’t fully charge the Nokia C3’s. The chargers were purchased in country (Haiti), but didn’t perform well. They were “UERSATILE SOLAR CHARGER S-RD 2600”. The initial charger we bought (to try out) came with a US A/C power adapter to charge the internal battery. The main purchase included European A/C power adapters. We are now looking for alternate solar chargers to deploy with new phones.
2.) The initial C3 phone we purchased for testing included a US A/C charger. You could also choose French language on the phone. The main purchase included European A/C power adapters with a US adapter which doesn’t make good electrical contact. You could not put the phone into French.
3.) The community health workers are required to fill out paper forms too. Rather than filling out the form on the phone while seeing the patient, they enter the data onto the phone at home based on the paper form. This leads to complaints of them not having enough time to fill out the forms.
4.) Sending forms from the phone to OpenMRS is incomplete. When you choose to “Send All” it doesn’t actually send them all. You have to repeat the process successively.
5.) If a form is entered for a patient identifier that doesn’t exist, it gets stuck in the xforms errors folder on the file system. Manually editing the xform we can change the identifier and copy it into the queue for further processing.
6.) Some forms just don’t show up in OpenMRS (or the errors queues) after being sent from the phone.
For more information on OpenMRS-JR and to see a list of known bugs visit…
As we move forward with mobile data collection, I would welcome any words of wisdom from those who have already walked down this path. Also, if there are any questions on our experience with OpenMRS-jr thus far, I would be happy to try to answer them.