Basic Hospital Information Management Application

Bhima is a free, open source accounting and hospital information management system (HIMS) tailored for rural hospitals in Africa. We are an international team based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

BHIMA User Manual

Welcome! This manual is for the Basic Hospital Information Management Application (BHIMA). BHIMA is a suite of interrelated tools to help rural hospital administrators in four areas: financial management, stock and inventory management, medical records, and reporting. It has been a research project of IMA World Health since 2013, and the current code base has been in development since late 2015.

This manual is split into chapters:

  1. Getting Started
  2. Finance Modules
  3. Medical Records
  4. Inventory and Stock Management
  5. Reporting and Statistics
  6. Developer Reference
  7. Glossary


BHIMA is free software, released under the GPL-2.0 license. As such, it is distributed AS IS with no assumed warrantee, though we strive to create the best product possible. You may use the application at your own risk, without any liability assumed of IMA World Health, the principle sponsor of BHIMA development.

This is a living document written by the authors of BHIMA and the material can sometimes be dense and unclear. If anything doesn’t make sense to you, please tell us about it! You can leave a comment right on this site or you can send us an email at developers@imaworldhealth.org. Thanks!


We appreciate contributions in all forms!

Hospital Administration

If you are a hospital administrator please provide feedback on how the system is running. Feedback from teams using the system in production constantly defines the direction for the development team and is essential to ensure we are building the product and features that work for you.


If you are a developer, we appreciate code contributions - a good place to start is our First Time Contributor tags on GitHub.

You can usually reach our team for questions via the developers@imaworldhealth.org email address.

Think you found a bug? Let us know by filing an issue and we’ll fix it as soon as possible!

Is something missing from this manual? Check out the developer wiki, we might have covered it there.