Leading GP IT system supplier EMIS has unveiled its next generation IT system EMIS Web, ahead of an official launch in the autumn.
The system, which has been in development for five years, is scheduled to receive NHS Connecting for Health accreditation in November and the company hopes it will become widely used by 2010. A roll-out date will be offered to all practices within two years.
EMIS claims the system will set a new standard for the NHS by enabling clinicians outside general practice to access a patient’s GP medical record, view other patient information that will be recorded on the system, and to add to that data.
Patient data will be accessible from non-EMIS systems using an interoperability portal called the Medical Interoperability Gateway (MIG).
GP system suppliers INPS and iSoft and out-of-hours provider Adastra are also to use the MIG to share data.
Yesterday, EMIS said it was also holding talking with other healthcare IT suppliers including Ascribe, Oasis and IMS Maxims. Local service providers Cerner and CSC have declined to take part, saying it is outside their contractual commitments under the National Programme for IT in the NHS.
Sean Riddell, managing director of EMIS, told EHI Primary Care that EMIS Web would hold the GP patient record together with what would, in effect, be a series of other separate records such as a podiatry record, a record of information supplied by patients, a diabetes record and a district nursing record.
GPs will be able to see the information on the other records, with patient consent, but will only incorporate the data they want into their own record.
Riddell added: “The main differentiation between EMIS Web and other systems is our concept of one patient and a series of virtual records.”
Data is shared and viewed with explicit patient consent and according to local data sharing agreements.
Outside of general practice, the system is already being used by the NHS as part of the pilot-phase of EMIS Web.
Areas using the system include the physiotherapy team at NHS Tower Hamlets, ultrasound services in St Albans, minor surgery and other GPwSI services in Liverpool PCT, out-of-hours care in Gateshead and community teams in NHS Cumbria.
Riddell said the company had started work on developing EMIS Web outside general practice with patient administration functionality, care pathways and workflow management, but that work on the GP development cycle had now finished.
EMIS said EMIS Web would deliver “sub second data response times”, include a diagnostic support system with more prominent drug warnings, and include a ‘search and reports’ function for practices, practice-based commission groups and primary care trusts.
It is the first healthcare system to integrate the Microsoft Common User interface and SNOMED CT coding.
The roll-out of EMIS Web has been much anticipated by EMIS practices. The company promised it would make the system available to 1,000 practices on a read-only version from autumn 2006 and Riddell said 1,600 practices now have the read-only system running alongside their PCS or LV software.
However, the read-write version will only be available from November when EMIS says the system should be accredited for all CfH programmes including the Summary Care Record, version two of the Electronic prescription Service, GP2GP record transfer and Choose and Book.
Its current hosted solution, EMIS PCS Enterprise, has been accredited as a hosted solution by CfH according to Riddell; but an official announcement is waiting for BT to make a technical update at one of the data centres. Accreditation for EMIS Web as a hosted solution will then be relatively straightforward, Riddell said.
EMIS has been working with INPS, the second most used GP system in the UK, for two years and INPS is currently testing its use of the MIG in Wales. Out-of-hours software provider Adastra is also ready to use the MIG. Riddell said iSoft had committed to the MIG last week.
He added: “With the addition of iSoft it means that through the MIG we will now be able to provide access to almost 90% of GP records in the UK.”
Link: EMIS Web
Analysis: A feature on the launch of EMIS Web is running in our opinion and analysis section.