Fragmentation between primary and secondary care is something the new CEO of EMIS Health is all too aware of. Suzy Foster spoke to Digital Health News about her new role, and why she believes the right pieces for sharing records are not yet in place.

Foster joined EMIS Health in April 2019, after spending five years at Microsoft’s healthcare division as director of health and life sciences.

She has also worked for Hampshire County Council, which she says makes her all too familiar with the health and social care system.

“I have spent time in social services and I have seen the disconnect between health, social care, local government and NHS organisations,” Foster says.

“If these services were joined up, there would be huge benefits to be had all round.

“Throughout my career, health has always been a theme and I have always have had an interest, in particular, in joining up services.

“However, the right people and the right polices have not been involved.”

The age of X

Foster joins EMIS Health around 12 months on from the launch of EMIS-X, the supplier’s next phase of clinical technology, which includes video consultations and clinical triage.

The cloud-based platform aims to create an ecosystem that supports NHS Digital interoperability standards, where applications are allowed to share selective live data with others.

EMIS-X has been built on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and means different healthcare teams can be linked seamlessly.

Foster believes the platform “has absolutely cracked” the issue of joined-up healthcare.

“I want to be part of enabling joined-up care,” she adds.

“I am really excited about the EMIS-X platform, it’s an enabler for other organisations as well.”

Putting patients in the middle

As a figure tasked with driving the new cloud-based clinical platform, which will connect key care settings, Foster has a  commitment to making the shared care record work across health and social care, and utilising data for clinical intelligence and analytics.

However, she says she wants to ensure that EMIS Health places the citizen at the centre of their care as well as practitioners.

“We need to ensure that we are focused on the patient, people are wanting to interact with their healthcare more,” she adds.

“However, we still need to talk to GPs.”

With a number of new companies offering online consultations, such as Babylon health and Push Doctor, Foster says is reminded of a quote from Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, who said: “Our industry does not respect tradition – it only respects innovation”.

With that in mind, Foster says EMIS Health needs to ensure it is “ahead of the game” and keeps up with innovation happening in the sector.

“The industry has seen the pace of transformation increase incredibly,” she adds.

“No one could have predicted the change we have seen over recent years, but EMIS Health is absolutely committed to looking forward.”

EMIS Health are the conference sponsor of the shared care track at Digital Health Rewired on 4 March.

The event is focused on connecting everyone working in health IT with the very best in innovative and disruptive digital health.

Register your place at Rewired 2020 today.