OSCAR is a Free/Open Source Software product. This means that the software can be downloaded freely by anyone and the source code is distributed with the software so that peer review and collaboration can take place.


For a 2 minute mini demo click here




As of May 2009, OSCAR has a user base of 800 clinician users across BC, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and PEI. The largest numbers of users are in Ontario and BC. The true number of Canadian users is probably higher than this, but because physicians can self-install OSCAR, there is no formal central register of users. OSCAR has experienced a fantastic year of growth in 2008, which saw a 75% increase in new installations year/year from 2007. Future growth looks equally rapid.





In 2001, the OSCAR project was started by the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University with the objective of producing a state of the art web-based EMR to support diverse academic and clinical functions. Since 2001 OSCAR has been implemented in large and small clinics across the country with most users found in Ontario and BC. An increasing number of support companies provide services which include server installation, maintenance, and user training and support.




OSCAR support companies and users form a close knit community with regional and national group meetings. The OSCAR Canada User Society spearheads the community development of the product. Currently, OSCAR is updated twice a year, in April and October. The Roadmap Page on the OSCAR Canada web-site keeps the community informed of all the upcoming features. OSCAR is based on a community driven development model. Current contributors to the OSCAR project include:


Large institutions (e.g. McMaster, McGill & City of Toronto)
Independent companies (e.g. OSCAR support companies)
User Groups (e.g. OSCAR Canada Users Society)
Independent clinics and individual doctors




In Ontario, where a standards-based approach was taken to EMR selection, OSCAR has easily passed all rounds of Conformance testing, including the most recent and rigorous CMS Specification v3.0 from OntarioMD in February 2009. OSCAR is able to communicate via HL7, can export data as mandated by the OntarioMD standards and can import patient laboratory data.


OSCAR also interfaces with an interoperable patient controlled health record: MyOSCAR. This was jointly developed with Harvard and MIT. For details see: http://myoscar.org/




Oscar was built as a web browser based EMR from the start. It uses any web browser including some cellphones to access the EMR from anywhere that the Internet can be accessed. This provides great flexibility. Patient records can be access from the hospital, home, on vacation or while sitting in a restaurant via your cellphone.


OSCAR is highly stable. Running on Linux servers means that the server operating system is also stable. Servers run for years without the need to be rebooted and OSCAR crashing is virtually unheard of. New versions are tested for stability prior to release in the McMaster teaching clinics. The software developers have a program of twice yearly releases every April and October, with clear outlines for users in advance, of what each new release will contain.




The economics of OSCAR is such that is does the folloeing much better than any oter EMR:.


It is overall cheaper over the course of a medical career - even
If you pay yearly fees to a support company
By its nature, it can never - and will never - go out of business, get sold to another company, declare bankruptcy or abandon the business.
By its nature, it is always evolving and the evolution is literally driven by its Physician user base.
There are multiple firms that support Oscar making the business competitive.





OSCAR supports all the necessary functions to run a family practice clinic large and small.


Patient registration for capitation or FFS practices and roster management
Scheduling with highly customizable view of provider groups and individualized booking preference.
Billing also features super-code for smart and simplified billing and third party billing.
Complete electronic charting of all encounters with an up to date Cumulative Patient Profile (CPP) which provides a 'snapshot view' of important demographics, all active medical problems, medications, allergies, significant past history, family history and social history.
Prescription with drug-drug interaction and renal dosage adjustment decision support, personal favorites, patient's pharmacy, drug allergy alerts.
Real time communication with MyDrugRef, a social network of trusted colleagues whose postings related to the drugs your patient is taking can be displayed just when you are prescribing these drugs.
Chronic disease management which maximizes revenue generation through monitoring and alerting of preventative screening and best practice interventions.
A sophisticated antenatal care record with antenatal care planner.
Disease Registry is provided to support population health analysis.
All laboratory results from private laboratories will be imported directly into the EMR.
Diagnostic imaging results and consultation notes can be scanned into the EMR where required.
Highly customizable eForms can be created for your clinic.
The Tickler system - a reminder system that can assign tasks to team members and set priority for each task.
A very easy to use referral system with patient's important information transferred to the referral letter automatically.
Secure messaging system for communication within the clinic.
Secure messaging with patients, transfer of patients' record to patients' Personal Health Record system called MyOSCAR.
Clinical resource can be accessed at the point of care.




Encounter Screen (click to view)
Diagnostic Images (click to view)
Laboratory Results Review (click to view)
Preventions Screen (click to view)
Appointment Screen (click to view)
Billing Screen (click to view)
Implementation Approach
EMR Adoption Funding
Open source software solutions provide the healthcare community with the minimal cost for the acquisition and support yet meet their needs for care delivery.
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