OSCAR McMaster

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Open Source Clinical Application and Resource and McMaster (OSCAR McMaster) is an open source browser-based EMR system developed by the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University in 2001. OSCAR has its roots in the development of a DOS-based program, MUFFIN (McGill University Family Folder Information Network) created in 1988 by Dr. David Chan. MUFFIN was designed with the intent to provide a low-cost, problem-oriented, computerized medical record system to primary care clinics. Dr. Chan later went on to enlist a programming team to develop OSCAR [8].

As of October 31st 2014, OSCAR EMR has captured 18.3% of the EMR market share among funded EMR vendors in Canada [2]. As of July 2014, however, OSCAR has captured 22.6% of the local server EMR segment in Ontario, just behind the first placed EMR (23.2%) in that space [2].

OSCAR is a proven Electronic Medical Record (EMR) designed to help improve health care from individual to population health levels while reducing costs. OSCAR, which currently supports over 1.5 million patients across Canada, offers an extremely versatile, browser-based, EMR with high clinical functionality and advanced research capabilities. This highly customizable EMR has no licensing fees, and its low cost of ownership makes OSCAR one of the most efficient and affordable EMR solutions in Canada for practices of all sizes and specialties. [10]

OSCAR is deeply rooted in its user community as reflected in its motto, ‘Connecting Care, Creating Community’. This community is a vital part of the OSCAR ecosystem, with members from academic and research institutions, community practices, hospitals, ambulatory and outreach programs, public health departments, other social service agencies, and the OSCAR Canada User Society (OCUS). [10]

OSCAR EMR, a not-for-profit corporation, is another key part of the ecosystem. OSCAR EMR is ISO 13485:2003 certified and, on behalf of the OSCAR community, ensures OSCAR’s quality from design and development to implementation and support. It does so in part through formal affiliation with Approved OSCAR Service Providers and Approved OSCAR Self-Service Providers who are committed to promoting and upholding quality standards, and to contributing to the sustainability and effectiveness of OSCAR’s Quality Management System. [10]

Together OSCAR and the OSCAR Community are instrumental in connecting care from the clinic level to the health care system level. At the clinic level OSCAR is designed to share information between providers in a patient’s circle of care. At the health care level, OSCAR interacts with numerous other systems to assist in the transfer of relevant patient information. In addition, OSCAR communicates with other tools that enable health care providers to communicate clinical information to other providers. These tools are integrated into the EMR, allowing relevant information to be shared between providers at the appropriate time. The combination of OSCAR and the OSCAR Community truly offers a means of connecting care within a clinic, between a clinic and other health care institutes, between providers and patients and from one provider to another. [10]

OSCAR is not only used in many Canadian clinics, it has been implemented within a number of Canadian medical schools such as McGill, Queens, UBC and McMaster. OSCAR is also in use in Argentina, Ecuador, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Jamaica [9].

In 2015 there are around 1000 officially funded physicians using OSCAR in Ontario, and estimated between 700 and 800 unfunded clinician provider users in British Columbia. [1]


OSCAR connects to a variety of applications and interfaces. Through these connections, users are able to achieve quality improvements and realize cost efficiencies within health care and social service settings. Below is additional information about OSCAR and the other systems it connects to: [11]

  • OSCAR - an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system containing health care information with full billing capabilities, chronic disease management tools, prescription module, scheduling and many other features. It can run locally in an office setting or be accessed over the internet.OSCAR is a comprehensive Clinical Management system with many sophisticated features and high levels of security. The system is flexible, intuitive to use and cost effective. [3]
  • MyDrugRef - a powerful tool that enables physicians to form a network to facilitate knowledge transfer. This knowledge transfer allows providers to be kept up to date on the latest studies and best practices as they relate to drug management as well as clinical procedures. Using MyDrugRef, providers are able to receive peer-reviewed decision support information through this system in a highly accessible manner allowing them to have information that would be challenging or impossible for them otherwise access. [4]
  • MyOSCAR - a Personal Health Record (PHR) that offers patients access to and control of their health records, enabling them to become more actively involved in the management of their health. Patients are able to share their record with whomever they choose, enabling health care providers, family members or other selected individuals to have access to their information for viewing or updating. [6]
  • OSCAR CAISI - an award winning case management, bed management and program facility management system used by several agencies in Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa. The system is specifically designed to share relevant patient information among providers, while maintaining the highest levels of patient privacy. [5]
  • OSCAR Kiosk - a self-check-in utility for patients, for use in medical offices.[2]
  • OSCAR Resource - a project aimed at compiling a large accessible database of bookmarks linking to a large variety of medical resources all over the web. [7]

Benefits of OSCAR EMR

  • Reduction in Error
  • Ease of sharing records within a site and between sites
  • Ease of searching information
  • Reduction in use of paper
  • highly versatile
  • accommodate multiple providers and learners in a variety of settings, including primary care, research and hospital environments

External Links

OSCAR McMaster

OSCAR User Group


1. https://oscar-emr.com/contact-us/faq/

2. https://www.ontariomd.ca/idc/groups/public/documents/omd_file_content_item/omd012789.pdf

3. https://oscar-emr.com/oscar-connections/emr/

4. https://oscar-emr.com/oscar-connections/mydrugref/

5. https://oscar-emr.com/oscar-connections/oscar-caisi/

6. https://oscar-emr.com/oscar-connections/myoscar/

7. https://oscar-emr.com/oscar-connections/oscar-resource/

8. http://oscarcanada.org/usersgroups/oscar-users-around-the-world/Oscar%20Zimbabwe%20Brochure.pdf/view

9. http://oscarcanada.org/usersgroups/oscar-users-around-the-world

10. https://oscar-emr.com/about-us/

11. https://oscar-emr.com/oscar-connections/

Additional References

  1. OSCAR Canada Users Society, (2015), User Base. http://oscarcanada.org/
  2. OSCAR Canada Users Society, (2015), OSCAR Suite of Electronic Health Applications. http://oscarcanada.org/