December 15, 2016

GNU Health

Since 2008, GNU Health by Luis Falcón as a project for health promotion and disease prevention in rural areas is used by health care and hospitals. Initially it was known as Medical. It has since evolved into a Health and Hospital Information System, with a multi-disciplinary international team to form big community. GNU Health is a project of GNU Solidario, a non-profit non-governmental organization (NGO) that works in the areas of health and education with free software.

Its modular design allows to be deployed in many different scenarios: from small private offices, to large, national public health systems. It covers the functionality of Electronic Medical Record (EMR), Hospital Management, and Health Information System (HIS).

GNU Health counts with a growing, committed and friendly international community, that brings the best from the social, biological, medical and computer science fields. No matter where in the world you live, we are passionate to keep health – and health informatics – a non-negotiable human right.

GNU Health Management software is an open source Health and Hospital Information System that provides the following functionality:

GNU Health uses a modular approach around the kernel, with different functionality that can be included to meet the health center’s needs. The current modules are:

The Core Module

As we have mentioned already in previous sections of the book, GNU Health is composed of different modules which will provide specific functionality to your health center.

The module health is at the center of GNU Health. This module contains the core models and classes, so the rest of the modules will just inherit them. This gives modularity and scalability, without leaving behind the most important building blocks in public health. Some of the models found in the core module are:


GNU Health modular design

  • Individuals
  • Families
  • Domiciliary Units
  • Operational Sectors
  • Health Centers
  • Diseases
  • Patient
  • Patient Evaluation / Encounters
  • Medicaments
  • Treatments

There are many others models in the core module, but this subset will give you an idea of the concept. If you are not a programmer, you don’t really have to worry much about how GNU Health deals internally with dependencies and inter-module communication. For example, if you want to install the pediatrics module health_pediatrics, it will automatically mark the core module health for installation, as a dependency.

To learn more about GNU Health modules, please refer to the Modules chapter.

In this documentation, we will cover the functionality of the core module first before exploring the possibilities of the other modules.

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