A London primary care trust has opted out of NHS Connecting for Health plans to install the community and child health system RiO, deciding instead to use EMIS Web across primary and community care.
The move by NHS Tower Hamlets means the PCT is breaking away from the London Programme for IT’s ‘best of breed’ solution for the capital, under which PCTs are expected to take CSE Servelec’s RiO for community and mental health, EMIS or INPS for primary care and Cerner’s Millenium for acute care.
The PCT has also decided to drop out of CfH’s e-Single Assessment Process project in favour of developing links with local authority databases using EMIS Web.
Dr Kambiz Boomla, chair of the PCT’s ICT committee, said Tower Hamlets was embarking on a multi-million pound primary care investment programme and wanted a primary care information system rather than a GP system and a community system.
He added: “GP Systems of Choice hasn’t come to grips with that fundamental issue. Bringing in RiO for community staff and having GPs using another system is exactly what NHS Connecting for Health wanted us to do. We have rejected that.”
All but one of the GP practices in Tower Hamlets already use EMIS systems and the PCT has been one of a handful working with EMIS as it developed EMIS Web, its next generation system.
Dr Boomla said the decision to opt for EMIS Web across community and general practice would enable the PCT to deliver on its plans for integrated services for patients with long term conditions, case management and specialist nurses, networks around virtual polyclinics and practice based commissioning projects.
He added: “RiO as a standalone community system just does not meet our needs.”
Dr Boomla said the PCT was going out “on a bit of a limb” by choosing not to install RiO but argued that EMIS Web would deliver the functionality the area needed.
He said: “The cost is obviously greater now because EMIS Web is not in the national programme but that is only artificially high and I can’t imagine the next government doing anything other than putting the whole costs back to PCTs.”
On e-SAP Dr Boomla told EHI Primary Care that nurses were finding it too difficult to input information into eSAP and EMIS and that the PCT now hoped to come up with a solution which would link EMIS Web to social services to enable single data entry.
Tower Hamlets was the first PCT in London to implement the e-SAPsoftware in 2006.
Analysis: A feature on the launch of EMIS Web is running in our opinion and analysis section.