OpenEMR came into existence in 1998 when as Ted Dziuba put it:
When I was 16 years old, myself and three friends spent a high school summer writing a piece of software. One of our group had a mother who was a physician in Cheshire CT, and we took it upon ourselves to write her an EMR system. The idea was that we could give the software away for free and charge for support. We called it MedicalPractice Professional. A couple of years go by and we keep hacking away on this project, eventually changing its name to OpenEMR, and forming a company around it called Synitech.
Synitech continued developing OpenEMR until version 2.0. Around 2001 Synitech turned the OpenEMR project development and leadership over to Walt Pennington and PennFirm in San Diego, California. Walt Pennington’s developers eventually broke off to form ClearHealth and Mr. Pennington transferred the source files of OpenEMR over to the SourceForge repository that he had opened in 2002. He gave the SourceForge administration rights to Rod Roark, Andres Pagalayan, and James Perry Jr. on March 9, 2005. The project page is still maintained at OpenEMR SourceForge Project Page. Currently Road Roark and Brady Miller are the project admins. Tony McCormick, Kevin Yeh and Stephen Boyd-Smith have commit privileges.
Open Source Medical Software (OSMS) was organized March 15th, 2005 as a non-profit to support and guide the OpenEMR project. The Board of Directors included Rod Roark, Andres Pagalayan, James Perry, Jr., Sam Bowen, David Herman, CPA. Later the board included Tony McCormick, Michael Brody, DPM, Chris Lucena, John Williams, Sena Palanasami, and Jason Morrill. Currently the officers of are Chairman, Sam Bowen, MD, Vice-Chair Rod Roark, Secretary Tony McCormick, and Treasurer David Herman. OSMS was modestly successful in raising some funds for the support of the OpenEMR project. This is included $2,500 donation from the Hickory Springs Corporation for the
purchase of a small server. The server is still operating and serves the the home web page for OSMS and for OEMR. OSMS gave guidance to the project and many of the early software development policies were worked out by Rod Roark, Andres Paglayan and James Perry, Jr in the early board meetings.
OEMR was incorporated as a non-profit company in 2010 with the purchase of supporting the OpenEMR project and to help distribute the software. OEMR received its 501(c)(3) non-profit status in July, 2010. The board of Direcors of OEMR represents a broader range of back grounds compared to the OSMS board which was mostly composed of software developers. The OEMR board consists of
Ron Beardon, Chairman (a banker), Greg Neuman, treasurer (an attorney), Tony McCormick, secretary (developer, vendor), Sam Bowen, MD executive director (OpenEMR user, Medical Doctor), David Herman, Jr., (CPA), Sena Palanasami (Developer), Jack Cahn, MD (“Country doctor”), Shameem Hameed (software developer, vendor), Nathan Diniro (recovering developer, writer), Art Eaton (boatwright), Kevin Yeh (developer, Medical Doctor).
The short range goals of OEMR were to get organized and start working in small teams to allow more to accomplished for the OpenEMR project. Currently there are teams working:
Web page development: Sara McCormick, Nate Deniro, Art Eaton, and Sam Bowen
Shared Governance: Nate Deniro, Art Eaton, Sam Bowen
Fund Raising: Nate Diniro, Art Eaton, Sam Bowen, Paula Atwood
Software development: Tony McCormick, Kevin Yeh, Art Eaton, Shameem Hameed, Sena Palanasami