AuShadha EMR Open Source & Programming Python

War of the Python EMRs Starts this week at my Hospital – GNUmed v/s GNUHealth

My Hospital has requested me to install Electronic Medical Records (EMR).

We are planning, as always, an Open Source Based EMR Solution.

I have desisted from offering my Open Source Electronic Medical Records -AuShadha as one of the options as its still in heavy development.Therefore I have advised two Open Source Implementations that I have short listed after scouring all the available choices that are listed in Wikipedia and Medfloss.

While some of the implementations are not in active development, others are not specifically meant for private clinics like ours. They are for developing nations to keep track of communicable diseases and other specific diseases and treatments. While it is possible to adopt and modify them , there are two Open Source EMR implementations that are reasonably good straight out of the box.

1) GNUmed

2) GNU Health

Why did I choose them ?

I have to implement and maintain them. I know Python. They are in Python.

Implementation should be easier and so will the maintenance.

Tweaking them to closely fit our hospital’s work flow and adding specific forms for data collection and research work should also be possible.

I personally tend to favour GNU Health, because of installation woes on GNUmed’s previous versions and what I thought was a complicated UI layout but recent communications with Mr. Stephen Hilbert and Mr. Karsten Hilbert, developers of GNUmed and an India doctor who uses GNUmed have forced me to take a second longer look.

This week then I will be installing both on our servers and opening it for use by doctors at our hospital for a month. The user friendliness and ‘tweakability’ will be assessed and then we will decide a month later on which to choose.
Keeping fingers crossed. Will give Installation reports, issues, user experience here once it is through.


By dreaswar

Consultant Paediatric Orthopaedic & Spine Surgeon,
Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu & Palakkad, Kerala

5 replies on “War of the Python EMRs Starts this week at my Hospital – GNUmed v/s GNUHealth”

Please let me pick your brain! Hi, my name´s Carlos and looks like we´re doing the same thing except you have experience with servers and I do not. I´m not even a pro. I live in a small city in Mexico and was asked by my aunt, a nun, to help them run a small hospital (12 beds, 2 ORs). This started as going from paper to excel, but I´ve decided to take the big leap to EMR. I’ve tried the care2x demo and was ready to install then I gave GNUmed a second look, now I´m confused with GNUHealth/med… I need help deciding. I you have time please contact me. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME!! PS I even had a hard time with care2x and wampp and decided on xampp, open source whenever possible is my new motto 🙂



Thanks for your interest.

The difference between GnuMed and GnuHealth is really about what you want your EMR to do for you.
If you want it to manage a clinic with its billing , accounting, store keeping etc.. then GnuHealth is better.
If it just the EMR, you have two options. You can just install the EMR modules from GnuHealth / use GnuMed.
GnuMed installation has become easier they claim. I am about to install it at my place.

I am right now trying to GnuHealth up and running. There has been some Postgresql database errors that is preventing me from using it now. I am sorting that out. Once I have installed both, I will certainly let you know what they feel like.



Thanks for the quick reply! The main concern for now is billing, they’re using handmade receipts! Then there’s the pharmacy, it takes too long to do inventory and very few people work here (24 including admins, doctors, nurses and custodians). I don’t want to use a generic inventory database, an EMR and a separate POS system, but it’d be better than what they have now. They want to be ISO certified and I suggested they make the big jump to EMR/HIS now, while they’re making organic changes. I just downloaded the LIVE version of GNUmed, I’m about to try it. As usual I’m finding resistance to linux, Can all this be done with windows? Or is that the root of my problems? I’ve read that care2x works flawless in debian. Bye for now, GRACIAS from Mexico.


for any open source implementation, technically, linux is a better choice. Theoretically a web application will work on any systems, so you can make do with windows for the clients if thats your preference. That said, I am not sure whether Gnumed works on Windows. You have to check with them. I suppose it should, being a wxPython base. If you want to be managing pharmacy and billing I strongly suggest OpenERP and GNU-Health rather than GnuMed. If EMR is your main concern then may be you can try either of GnuHealth / GnuEMR
You can also give OpenEMR a spin.


Sorry for the rather late reply. I just found out that I had completely missed sending a reply to your last comment.
This is to let you know that we are now evaluating GNU Health and Open EMR at our hosptial. Predominantly we are now concentrating on Outpatient notes. It may expand to an Hospital Information System if this experiment is successful.

Seems both of them are nice in their own way. Both run fine on Linux (Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS). Am not sure of windows. I will be installing GNU health on some windows computer next week. If you are still interested I can let you know.

However, my personal advice is to run linux as you can save and benefit from on a long term. You have to spend some initial effort trying to get things working your way though. There will also be some initial learning curve. Thats the price you pay.



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