RIO logoCommunity and mental health system supplier CSE Healthcare Systems has announced that its RiO system is to be integrated with the primary care systems provided by EMIS and INPS.

The three suppliers have signed a heads of terms agreement to work together on the development of a solution to integrate EMIS’s GP systems with the INPS Vision system and the RiO Community Care Record System.

Alan Stubbs, managing director for the CSE Global group of companies, told EHI Primary Care that the agreement stemmed from initial talks between CSE and EMIS about how the two companies could work together.

He added: “There seemed to be a gap between what’s possible via the Spine and the Summary Care Record and what trusts and practices need to run their businesses efficiently.”

CSE Healthcare said the solution would enable integrated workflows and care pathways and support the sharing of clinical data across GP practices and community services.

Stubbs said the key functionality that has been identified to date was the sharing of information on childhood immunisations and the ability to book appointments between organisations. He said the functionality would improve business efficiency and patient safety.

Sean Riddell, managing director of EMIS, said: “This work fits perfectly with the shift in NHS thinking towards a ‘connect all’ rather than a ‘replace all’ strategy. Close interoperability of best of breed systems building on existing systems is clearly the direction of travel for healthcare IT.”

Stubbs said that once the initial alliance between CSE and EMIS had been agreed, GP system supplier INPS was also invited to join and was keen to do so.

Max Brighton, managing director of INPS, said: “This is a natural extension of the work already underway to enable healthcare systems to interact together for the real benefit of local healthcare communities and particularly the patients they serve. We are delighted to take part in this initiative.”

Stubbs said work with EMIS was slightly further ahead than with INPS although he expected them to quickly catch up and predicted the first solution would be delivered this year.

He added: “We are very excited about this. It’s also important to say that this work will run alongside the National Programme for IT in the NHS and not in competition to it.”

CSE Healthcare is contracted to supply its RiO child health, community and mental health systems to the 31 primary care trusts and ten mental trusts in London and has so far deployed 29 community systems, seven mental health systems and 11 child health systems in the capital.

BT is also providing RiO to 25 community and mental health trusts in the South of England. CSE Healthcare said that, so far, there are ten community systems, one child system and ten mental health systems either live or in deployment.

Stubbs said he believed the alliance would help the company to target more PCTs in the South outside NPfIT contracts, since the vast majority of GP practices used EMIS or INPS.

He said the company would also be looking at the North, currently dominated by TPP’s SystmOne, supplied by local service provider CSC under NPfIT. Stubbs also identified polyclinics as a future target market.

In London, the project seems to move ahead of plans to develop a London Shared Patient Record, which appear to have stalled.

The original plan, outlined in 2008 by the London Programme for IT, was that a London Shared Patient record would be developed linking the three existing providers’ systems – Cerner Millennium for acute, RiO for community and mental health and INPS for primary care – with EMIS, which has more than 50% of systems in the capital.

A separate project to pilot interoperability in polyclinics involving two London PCTs has yet to get off the ground, according to CSE Healthcare.

Links: CSE Healthcare