Laboratory information system for low-and-middle-income country public health laboratories.
UNDP Singapore Global Centre, Digital Square, PEPFAR, The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Bahmni
The recent emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of strong laboratory systems for detecting outbreaks of infectious diseases, as well as for other personal and population health purposes such as monitoring HIV viral load suppression among patients receiving antiretroviral treatment, or measuring pathogen resistance to antibiotics. While laboratory information systems (LIS) are critical to clinical care and public health efforts, their reach and effectiveness can be amplified via automated data exchange with other health information systems.
In June 2019, with support from Digital Square, the Digital Initiatives Group at I-TECH (DIGI) of the University of Washington began a project to address the need for a standards-based interoperability protocol for clinical lab test ordering and result reporting in resource-limited settings. Drawing on experience as developers, implementers, and contributors of the Open Enterprise Laboratory Information System (OpenELIS) and Open Medical Record System (OpenMRS), the DIGI team led efforts to design and build a solution using Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), an emerging standard for interoperability. OpenELIS Global's mission is to strengthen clinical and public health laboratories and improve health for all by providing an advanced, standards-based laboratory information system that can be leveraged by health programs worldwide. The OpenELIS Global software is an open enterprise-level laboratory information system built on open-source web-based technologies that have been tailored for low-and-middle-income country public health laboratories.
OpenELIS Global is designed and built by a global community of laboratory experts, implementers, informaticists, and developers. We work closely with key partners and stakeholders to ensure our roadmap and design decisions are addressing local needs. OpenELIS is used most commonly in limited-resource environments, and extra concern is focused on ensuring no barriers exist for settings with limited digital capacity and low/no connectivity settings with intermittent power. OpenELIS includes secure results reporting to patients and caretakers, helping mitigate the challenge of digitally limited ecosystems that prevent the timely reporting of results to clinicians for patients.
Currently in contact with a number of different countries (Rwanda and Malawi amongst others). Further expansion is planned in Haiti (currently working with the Ministry of Health and CHARESS).