EHR Developed for Homeless, Uninsured

The Baltimore Rescue Mission’s free clinic recently adopted a standardized electronic health record to collect and store information for homeless and uninsured patients. Developed by medical students at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland using open-source software and customizations, the EHR system is modeled on the electronic medical records typically found in hospitals. The Baltimore Rescue Mission’s EHR monitors the same type of information that would be recorded in a typical hospital patient encounter—including patient’s prescribed medications, previous exam findings and diagnosis, family and medical history, and patient allergies.

Students Eugene Semenov and Michael Morris worked on developing the project for years.  Semenov first recognized the need for a EHR system catering to homeless and uninsured patients while working as a volunteer at the clinic. He regularly interacted with patients facing complex problems that required a more sophisticated record system in order to receive thorough care.

As Semenov and Morris reached out to other students to get involved with the project, they eventually formed the nonprofit organization “Networking Health” in order to raise the funds necessary to complete the system, according to a Johns Hopkins University press release.

Thanks to the new EHR system, “more than 250 of Baltimore’s underserved residents now have an electronic medical record to provide more consistency in their care,” the release said.

The students are looking to expand their efforts to include other free clinics in the Baltimore area, and eventually connect all of the record systems through Maryland’s Chesapeake Regional Information System for Our Patients (CRISP) health information exchange organization.

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