24 Apr 2008

The latest EMIS software – EMIS Web – is at the heart of two pioneering interoperability projects which are breaking down traditional barriers and helping to improve patient care.

The web-based product will underpin a groundbreaking partnership between EMIS – the UK’s leading GP systems supplier – and Adastra – the UK's market leader in unscheduled and urgent primary care solutions – to improve the continuity of out of hours (OOH) care.

The joint project – due to launch with an initial pilot in Gateshead in May 2008 – will enable OOH clinicians to access an instant summary of the patient’s primary care record, on the spot.

Ultimately, it offers the potential to improve the care of more than 60 million patients receiving OOH treatment supported by Adastra systems. These are used in 95 per cent of UK unscheduled care hubs, while EMIS systems support more than 56 per cent of UK GP surgeries.

In another innovative project, EMIS Web is being used to seamlessly link primary and secondary care delivery for Liverpool Primary Care Trust.

The product is integral to the recently-launched Primary Care A&E diversion project which is being delivered by Primary Care staff at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

This aims to reduce the number of patients attending A&E inappropriately (with primary care problems). Using EMIS Web to deliver an on-the-spot summary of the patient’s primary care record, nursing staff from the Primary Care Diversion Scheme can refer such patients back to their GP or discharge them with self-care advice.

Sean Riddell, EMIS Healthcare Managing Director said: “These two flagship projects demonstrate how joined-up thinking between different providers can not only improve patient care but also save the NHS money through more efficient service delivery.”

EMIS/Adastra overview

The Gateshead pilot – being run with the Gateshead PCT and Out of Hours Group – will see specially developed EMIS components sitting inside the Adastra software, via a seamless link.

With the patient’s consent, the OOH clinician will be able to open a summary of the patient’s ‘in hours’ primary care record via an EMIS Web tab, helping to improve continuity of care.

The real time summary will include details of medication, allergies and long-term conditions.

Sean Riddell said: “This is not only a cost-effective solution but one that will be delivered with minimal disruption to clinicians, as it will operate within the existing software framework.”

How it works: Liverpool PCT project

The new project between EMIS and Liverpool Primary Care Trust has seamlessly linked 19 GP practices from the Liverpool South Central PBC Consortium to a Primary Care Diversion Service at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital’s A&E department.

The service is now being expanded to other practices within the PCT; in total over 40 practices have signed up.

After being identified by the A&E clerk, the patient with a primary care problem is referred to the primary care nurse for a consultation.

During the consultation, with consent from the patient, a summary of the patient’s primary care medical record can be viewed via EMIS Web – including details of medications, allergies and any previous diagnoses.

Using an A&E template, the nurse records the consultation with the patient in the system and decides whether the patient is suitable for diversion back to their GP.

If the patient agrees to be referred back the GP, the primary care nurse can book a same or next-day GP appointment, but the patient still has the option to attend A&E.

Kate Warriner, Primary Care IM&T Development Manager for Liverpool PCT said: “Interoperability has played a crucial role in making this project work. Using EMIS Web has brought considerable practical benefits with minimal disruption including enabling the GP to view the A&E consultation back at the practice.”