About EHRbase

What is EHRbase?

EHRbase is an open source software backend for clinical application systems and electronic health records.

It is mainly based on the openEHR specifications, an open platform architecture for developing flexible and interoperable eHealth systems. Applications based on openEHR share a common information architecture, i.e. they “speak” the same technical language to express clinical information. This enables interoperability between applications by design.

EHRbase is also part of the openEHR community, which aims to break down barriers for vendors, hospitals, regional and national eHealth programmes, researchers and others to adopt open standards and thereby foster the establishment of semantic interoperability. As an alternative to proprietary platform products or self-development, EHRbase aims to provide organisations with a modern, standards-compliant and rock-solid foundation for their next-generation eHealth solutions.

EHRbase is proudly developed by vitagroup, a leading German healthcare IT company with over 300 experts working on the future of healthcare IT, in close collaboration with MHH Hannover Medical School (Medizinische Hochschule Hannover) and HiGHmed. EHRbase is used in vitagroup’s enterprise offerings HIP EHRbase and HIP CDR. For any mission-critical solutions, environments, and deployments, vitagroup provides professional support, consulting services and advanced features.

Creating the right data environment for tomorrow

Why use EHRbase?

EHRbase for software companies

Software companies

EHRbase helps software companies to reduce their development costs for next generation applications. EHRbase provides an openly specified and vendor-neutral software backend for clinical application systems and electronic health records. The underlying openEHR specification powers the most comprehensive use cases, including hospital information systems and national eHealth backbones.

EHRbase does the heavy lifting: clinical semantics, versioning, model-based software development, a standardised REST API, an adaptive database model, automated data validation, model-based querying (using the Archetype Query Language), transaction management and more.

EHRbase allows companies to embrace open standards while saving significant development costs.

EHRbase for hospitals


Today, most hospital data is still locked in proprietary databases. As data lock-in is part of many vendors’ business models, communication interfaces are rare and data migration is very expensive. While data is becoming an increasingly important asset, current legacy systems hinder the efficient and intelligent use of data.

EHRbase enables hospitals to enhance the capabilities of their monolithic electronic medical record (EMR) by introducing a bi-model approach to health IT. The traditional EMR is complemented by a vendor-neutral and open clinical data repository that allows in-house development teams and industry partners to build innovative data-driven solutions for the hospital. Every single data element within the EMR can be securely accessed and processed through an open application programming interface.

Since the data is stored in an open format, vendor and data lock-in are prevented.

EHRbase for eHealth programs

Regional and National eHealth Programs

Providing citizens with a lifelong electronic health record is the primary goal of most eHealth programs. If data is not only to be transferred between organisations, but actively used to improve cross-sectoral care processes (e.g. by implementing electronic guidelines or collecting patient-reported outcomes) and to provide insights through data analytics, an open platform approach is needed. Not only for these reasons, regions and countries such as Catalonia, Scotland, Finland, Slovenia and Malta are implementing nationwide electronic health records based on openEHR.

EHRbase provides a solid foundation for the challenging task of large-scale infrastructure, giving governments full control over the data models and the procurement process: since EHRbase is based on openEHR, switching a substantial part of a nation’s underlying eHealth infrastructure becomes a feasible option.

EHRbase for researchers


Large research organisations, such as university hospitals face major challenges in efficiently using the enormous amount of data from care and research for analytics. Furthermore, collaboration in research networks requires organisations to make data FAIR: findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable.

EHRbase helps organisations to integrate and normalise data from care and research, provide reusable and machine-readable information models (through openEHR Archetypes and Templates) and make the data queryable and accessible through the Archetype Query Language and open application programming interfaces.

The value of EHRbase as a research platform grows over time as research databases and clinical registries are natively developed based on openEHR, reusing standardised data models.

As openEHR provides a rich description of the data and is machine-readable, automated transformations to formalisms and tools such as OMOP and i2b2/tranSMART are feasible.


The following is a non-exhaustive list of the various features provided by EHRbase. More will be added with each major release:

  • openEHR Reference Model 1.0.4
  • Transactions
  • openEHR REST API
    • EHR
      • Flat Format
      • Canonical XML
      • Canonical JSON
    • QUERY
      • WebTemplate Format
      • ADL 1.4 Template
      • Stored Queries
  • EHRbase Admin API
      • OAuth 2 Support
      • Basic Auth Support
      • SSL
    • EHR (physical delete)
    • COMPOSITION (physical delete)
    • DIRECTORY (physical delete)
    • TEMPLATE (physical delete, forced overwrite)
  • EHRbase Status API
  • Metric and Monitoring Endpoints
  • ATNA Logging
    • EHR
    • Composition
    • Query
    • User Login
  • Attribute Based Access Control Connectivity
  • Configurations for Cloud Deployment
  • Data Validation
    • Based on openEHR Template
    • Based on FHIR Terminology Server
  • Archetype Query Language
    • Aggregation functions (count, max, min etc.)
    • Contains operators AND, OR and nesting
    • ORDER BY
    • Partial Paths Queries
    • Filter by name attributes
    • Embedded FHIR Terminology Server calls
  • Software Development Kit
    • Auto-generated DTO Java classes from openEHR Templates
    • (De-)Serialization from/to DTOs
    • Queries based on DTOs classes
    • AQL parser and serializer

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