EMIS has launched a free flu surveillance tool that it says will allow GPs to compare their flu and vaccination uptake rates with those of other surgeries.

The QFeedback web portal has been launched as part of the QSurvelliance project by QResearch – a partnership between EMIS and the University of Nottingham.

It will be rolled out to the 3,400 GPs using EMIS systems that contribute data to the monitoring service.

The portal allows participating practices to view their own data and then compare it with the rest of the UK, a strategic health authority or PCT area, or with practices similar to theirs.

Dr Julia Hippisley-Cox, professor of clinical epidemiology and general practice at Nottingham University and co-founder of QSurveillance, said: “QFeedback is a powerful tool that will allow practices to see how they measure up against others with a similar demographic, and also nationally.

“It will be of enormous value in gauging levels of infectious diseases such as flu very quickly to allow local health services to respond speedily and ensure patients get the best possible care.”

In addition to monitoring flu, the tool also provides information on other diseases such as cancer and heart disease and displays the data in graphs, maps and tables.

Dr Arun Aggarwal, a GP at the Rainbow Surgery in Cambridgeshire who has been trialling the service said: “This is a brilliant resource. I found it very quick and easy to use and the results have been very thought-provoking for our practice.

“As well as giving us an insight into our own incidence of seasonal problems such as flu, it will also enable us to compare how we are doing on longer-term issues such as heart disease, and concentrate our resources where they are most needed.”

Sean Riddell, chief executive of EMIS, added: “We are very grateful to the EMIS practices that contribute data to QSurveillance, and pleased that we are now able to give them something in return to help them to better plan their services to patients.

"I hope the addition of this new tool will encourage more practices to contribute to the database.”