How an Open Source Campaign is aiding Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria

Erin Dietsche | MedCity News | October 20, 2017

On September 20, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico. The storm brought down the island’s electrical grid, leaving individuals without power, running water and medical care. That’s why the National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved launched the NHIT Care Campaign, an initiative aimed at helping Puerto Rico’s Federally Qualified Health Centers.

With assistance from PwC and other partners, the effort is providing medical response tools and technology to the island’s 20 FQHCs and 85 affiliated health centers. The campaign is “meant to be an enabler and to support” individuals, NHIT Collaborative CEO Luis Belen said in a phone interview. He added that the effort is intended to answer the question: “How do we help our friends and family in Puerto Rico as they’re trying to rebuild and come out of this emergency?”

The NHIT Care Campaign is made up of two phases. The first encompasses bringing a version of the open source cloud platform OpenEMR, which was used in Houston after Hurricane Harvey, to Puerto Rico. Amazon Web Services donated the hosting services to enable the deployment of OpenEMR. Additionally, Sprint has partnered with Bearcom and to provide and deliver 80 two-way radios to the campaign to help the FQHCs and health centers better communicate...