Healthcare IT system supplier EMIS has failed to get NHS Evidence accreditation for its Mentor clinical reference articles.

NHS Evidence said it had made a final decision not to accredit EMIS Clinical Immediate Reference articles because of “a lack of a sufficiently detailed documented process around the scope, purpose and rigour used to develop the guidance."

In a draft decision earlier this year, NHS Evidence ruled that the clinical reference articles did not meet five of its 25 accreditation criteria. At that stage, EMIS said it expected to more than meet the outstanding criteria, which addressed specific procedural issues.

However, in its final accreditation decision, NHS Evidence’s independent committee of experts decided that EMIS’s processes were not described in sufficient detail to satisfy several of the criteria.

It said these are based on internationally recognised criteria for robust guidance. It added that the main reason for the decision not to accredit was that the EMIS process did not assess and appraise the primary evidence in enough detail.

NHS Evidence said it had encouraged EMIS to reapply in August 2011 but EMIS told EHI Primary Care that it had decided that the NHS Evidence standard was not appropriate for its clinical reference articles and it would not be applying again.

NHS Evidence said it recognised many of EMIS’s strengths in producing clinical reference articles with clearly stated objectives and recommendations for each of the articles which were developed with the input of GPs who were the primary audience.

Dr Gillian Leng, chief operating officer for NHS Evidence, said the NHS Evidence Accreditation Scheme identifies sources of guidance to help health and social care professionals provide the highest standard of care to their patients.

She added: “Whilst EMIS may be disappointed at today’s decision, I would like to thank the organisation for putting their processes under the spotlight. I hope that EMIS will take on board all of the committee’s recommendations to make their processes more robust and reapply for accreditation in August 2011.”

Sean Riddell, chief executive officer for EMIS, said: “It became clear as we were going through this process that the NHS Evidence standard was not the appropriate standard for the type of material we produce.

“This accreditation process is designed for clinical guidelines, not for the immediate clinical reference articles and patient information leaflets that we produce. We will therefore not be challenging the decision or pursuing the accreditation further.”

Riddell said the company’s health information website, the source of the clinical reference articles used in Mentor, had already been awarded the Information Standard quality mark which is supported by the Department of Health.

He added: “We believe the Information Standard is the relevant accreditation for the type of material we produce.”