Frequently Asked Questions


Why the name Bahmni?

The first implementation of Bahmni took place at Jan Swasthya Sahyog (JSS), a hospital that has been instrumental in pioneering this open source work. Bahmni is named after a village 70km north of the small town of Bilaspur, India where one of three village health centers of JSS hospital is located. The work being done by JSS at Bahmni village is very inspirational to us and hence the name was chosen.

Where has Bahmni been implemented so far?

As of Aug 2016, Bahmni has ten total implementations with five in India, two in Nepal, two in Bangladesh and one in Sierra Leone. The first implementations of Bahmni were at Jan Swasthya Sahyog in Bilaspur, India and SEARCH in Gadchiroli, India. All the hospitals where Bahmni has been implemented are in low-resource settings. There is active work going on for many implementations slated to go live by the end of year. These include national roll-outs for government hospitals and multi-country deployment for tuberculosis management. For more details please see here.


We are interested in using Bahmni. We cannot find an implementer to do this. Can you help?

We are very interested in hospitals who are servicing the poor/underserved and public hospitals in developing world. Please complete the Contact Us form and we will get back to you as soon as possible for our team based in India. We are happy to do an in-person demo and discuss features, roadmap, and next steps for implementation.

What does Bahmni implementation entail?

Once you’ve decided that Bahmni is right for your hospital, it involves doing a needs assessment of your setup. This includes understanding processes, data management, existing systems and availability of IT skills. Our recommended partner would provide all implementation services from advising on hardware, to setting up your network (if needed), configuring Bahmni according to your needs, rolling out the software, training the hospital staff and providing support.

I am trying to install Bahmni and have some issues. Whom should I contact?

Please check Bahmni Wiki for installation instructions. Visit the OpenMRS talk forum for Bahmni (link) to see if this issue is already answered. If not then you can ask us a question there.


What is the difference between Bahmni and other OpenMRS based applications?

OpenMRS is a great platform on which many have developed end user EMR applications. Most of these applications are by design specific to a particular disease, one type of hospital in a country or for just one hospital. Bahmni is aimed to being a generic system which can be used for multiple diseases, hospitals in different countries (at different levels) - only via configuration and not via software development. The EMR part of Bahmni complements OpenMRS platform (or backend) to provide an end user system.

I do not want the laboratory (OpenELIS) and OpenERP parts of Bahmni, can I still use Bahmni?

Yes, Bahmni can be used with any combination of subsystems. This means that you can use just the EMR (OpenMRS) and OpenELIS part without the OpenERP; or just the EMR part without other OpenELIS, OpenERP; so on. Also, from the technical perspective you don’t need to deploy the subsystems you don’t need in your production machine, reducing any unnecessary computing resource overheads.

I have an existing OpenMRS system running, can I still use Bahmni?

Yes, there are two ways to go about it - on-the-top installation or migration. In the on-the-top installation you can deploy Bahmni distribution on existing OpenMRS that you have. This is one example of such an approach. The Bahmni team will work towards making this process easier.

On the other hand, with migration approach you would export the data out of existing system and import into Bahmni.

Has Bahmni forked OpenMRS?

No. Bahmni is a distribution of OpenMRS. Bahmni and OpenMRS are (mostly) complementary and not alternatives. Bahmni provides a front-end to OpenMRS in a generic fashion.

Does Bahmni team work with OpenMRS?

Bahmni team is a significant contributor to OpenMRS core development. As and when required for Bahmni, the team collaborates with OpenMRS core team to add features to OpenMRS.

I have developed some OpenMRS modules, can I integrate them with Bahmni?

Technically, the EMR subsystem of Bahmni is a JavaScript based front end application that calls REST services within OpenMRS. The original OpenMRS webapp is also accessible via the <hostname>/openmrs url. Any module can be uploaded into OpenMRS backend. If you want a quick link in Bahmni, you can try adding configuration to make the url show up on the home page.

License & Cost

What is the cost / fees of Bahmni?

Bahmni is Open Source Software licensed under AGPL 3.0 so there are no license fees to be paid. It can be downloaded and used at no cost. The details of license can be found here. You can implement Bahmni yourself or engage an implementer. Implementers will charge fees for implementation services that may include installation, configuration, data migration, reference data set up, user creation, training, go-live support and support.

Can I get Bahmni with a non-GPL license?

If you must make changes to Bahmni and do not want to share them under AGPL 3.0, then contact us to discuss pricing for a proprietary/commercial-licensed version of Bahmni. All revenue will be invested in further developing the open-source version of the project.

Who Is Bahmni?

Who is developing Bahmni?

Bahmni is built by the Bahmni Coalition, and other open-source contributors. The Coalition is a group of companies and non-profit organizations who work together under the Fiscal Sponsorship of the non-profit OpenMRS Inc, to develop, implement, and use Bahmni. We are committed to keeping Bahmni open source always, and expanding its reach to have larger and larger impact.

What is ThoughtWorks role in Bahmni?

ThoughtWorks started building Bahmni in January 2013 as part of its mission of social and economic justice. In October of 2017 ThoughtWorks transferred ownership of Bahmni to the Bahmni Coalition under the Fiscal Sponsorship of the non-profit OpenMRS, Inc. ThoughtWorks continues to be a major contributor to Bahmni, and serves on its Governing Committee.

Can organisations outside of the Bahmni Coalition do implementation of Bahmni? Can they charge for their services?

Yes, we want Bahmni to be implemented in this fashion via the Bahmni community. Of course we hope that implementers will join our community discussion forums and chat channels, to best coordinate ongoing development, and share experiences, bug reports, and best practices.

The Bahmni software is free, but anyone, in the Bahmni Coalition or otherwise, may charge for implementation services.

For Bahmni deployments how is the patient data managed and who owns the data?

Bahmni strives to provide the best environment that allows for protection of patient data. Bahmni is typically installed in premises of the hospital, and the hospital management or governments are the custodians of the patient data, while the implementing partner has no rights on this data.