EMIS has received full roll-out approval for EMIS Web, putting it in a position to start a controlled roll-out of the ‘next generation’ product that it hopes to complete in two to four years.

As part of the accreditation process, EMIS Web has been deployed at seven GP sites in England, all of which have switched off their previous EMIS software.

The company says that 141 orders have already been received from practices wanting to move to the new system.

An additional 980 practices have requested a ‘familiarisation service’, allowing them to run EMIS Web alongside their current EMIS system before upgrading.

Sean Riddell, chief executive of EMIS Group, said: “We are delighted to have received full roll-out approval, which enables us to begin a controlled roll-out of the product in this initial phase.

"As we stated at the time of our IPO [initial public offering] earlier this year, securing full roll-out approval is a key milestone for the group.”

Riddell told EHI Primary Care that the system would be installed in a variety of GP settings, after which the number of installations in each setting would be increased. The first installation in a non-EMIS practice should take place next week.

He added: “Practices have gone live overnight. We have switched their LV system off on a Tuesday night and then, on Wednesday morning, they are on EMIS Web – which is virtually unheard of in the world of healthcare computing.”

Riddell said the pace of roll-out would follow demand from GPs, but he claimed this was “huge” and that the roll-out should be complete within two to four years.

He added: “Two years for this degree of transformational change is optimistic, although EMIS as a company does have a high degree of capacity. The sooner we can implement high numbers, the quicker we can start seeing the benefits that some areas have already seen.”

EMIS Web has been much anticipated. It connects GPs to other health professionals by enabling secure, shared, centrally hosted access to patient records held at the group’s data centres.

Patient data is accessible from non-EMIS systems using an interoperability portal called the Medical Interoperability Gateway, developed with fellow systems supplier INPS.

As such, the company has argued that EMIS Web is perfect for the ‘post white paper world’ envisaged by health secretary Andrew Lansley.

The ‘Liberating the NHS’ white paper assumes that GP commissioning consortia will use new patient pathways to improve the quality and efficiency of care; although it also promises more choice for patients and a more competitive provider market.

Despite this, the system was first unveiled in June 2009 after five years of development.

Although it has taken longer than anticipated to reach full roll-out approval, a number of health communities are already using the system to share patient data.

In June, EMIS announced that it had been working with System C to provide clinicians at Aintree Hospital in Liverpool with access to emergency care information held in EMIS Web, via its Medway system.

Riddell said that despite the EMIS Web roll-out, the group would continue to develop the functionality in EMIS LV and PCS.


Sean Riddell, chief executive of EMIS Group, will be speaking at eHealth Insider Live 2010; the essential two day conference and exhibition for everybody involved in healthcare IT.

Online registration for the event, which will be held at the NEC in Birmingham from 8-9 November, is now open.