In Northern Nigeria a deteriorating health system has resulted in one of the World’s highest rates of maternal and infant deaths. The dire situation in Northern Nigeria is only amplified by the lack of an effective health information system, leaving hospitals and clinics to make decisions about patient care with only uninformed guesses about medical history and access to unreliable and unintelligible patient registers and summary reports. In 2009 we implemented an electronic medical records system using OpenMRS for the Family Health Unit of the Shehu Idris College. The three-month process resulted in electronic forms for all clinical areas, greatly reduced data duplication and a monthly reporting process that takes minutes instead of days. This system provides not only access to the first patient-based health indicators in Nigeria (as opposed to previously error-prone aggregate data) but is also an example of the potential to overcome the harsh computing environment in Nigeria to implement eHealth systems that will improve the quality of patient care.