Next Generation EMIS-X Announced

Sat, 01/12/2018 - 11:21 -- alan.selwyn

At our recent EMIS NUG Committee Meeting (Nov 29th) we were give a presentation of the future of our GP Clincial system; EMIS-X (try saying that quickly!). Simultaneously, EMIS were in London launching their proposal to the City. The text of their Press Staement is reproduced below.

EMIS Web is admittedly long overdue for a radical overhaul. The current GP systems no longer meet the needs to the rapidly developing healthcare environment, with multiple types of user working mainly on fixed infrastructure with a variety of providers operating across frequently changing sites with varied record requirements and a multiplicity of IT systems that don't talk to each other. 

GP IT Futures, the new GP IT contract replacing GPSoC, to be introduced in a year or so, recognizes this and replaces the traditional single enclosed systems with an open, modular approach accessed on any device across the internet. It unlocks the market to providers to develop specific functional modules which are added to an approved 'catalogue' from which users can choose, defining core and optional elements. All the modules offered must be built to rigorous standards of full interoperability, the idea being that we have something, possibly an amalgam of different systems, which best meets our needs whilst fully integrating with others'  solutions and sharing the same data. This is very ambitious of course but having a closed discrete architecture can no longer support the complexities of modern multi-dimensional, real-time healthcare. 200 new developers have been taken on by EMIS and we hope to see work happening reasonably swiftly compared to the pace of EMIS Web development in recent years. Of course, that necessarily means development of EMIS Web will be limited to smaller changes rather than big re-writes. The NUG UDR (User Driven Requirements) will still be intimately involved in the process under the requirements of GPSoC and your ideas remain important in driving this under our newly agreed process with EMIS (see blog below).

In order to avoid disrupting Business As Usual, EMIS-X will be gradually brought on stream; no 'big bang' with a steep learning curve. New EMIS-X functionality will be steadily introduced to EMIS Web and, being completely outside the present architecture, will present itself simply as an icon linking to the new module so users can move over at their own pace. First will be a new Appointments module , some time around the middle of 2019. This will be like any other browser-based booking system, for theatre tickets or hotels for instance, and will allow appointments of any sort to be booked from anywhere to any provider on any device. Because it will be deployed on the web, updates can be made more or less in real time, so goodbye to the  process of writing and testing a complete module, rolling it out laboriously via the cumbersome patch domain system and then dealing equally slowly with bug fixes. It will end the problem of an addition in one part of the system breaking something in other parts.

EMIS has been positioning itself by acquiring a number of different companies and looks to offer sufficient expertise to provide a global healthcare system to compete with the best. This is vital if it is to survive as it seems likely the newly freed-up market will see many new entrants - and maybe the death of some existing players - and some of the new providers may well come from big players across the pond. Hospital IT has a long way to catch up with our own in primary care and huge and expensive systems are being procured now,  which may well have a free GP bolt-on provided as a sweetner to the local health economy. Keeping a strong GP user voice in the choice of our new systems will be more important than ever as Federations, CCGs, STPs, CSUs will all jockey for position, the Trusts become ever more powerful and the stakes grow. We're not yet sure if the users will have a formal place in the process under GP IT Futures. Those who shout loudest or with the biggest financial clout could win and the end user, at the centre of the current GPSoC, could well be squeezed out of the decision making. EMIS have assured us they are strongly committed to our needs as customers and sees the NUG as a vital voice.

GPs and practices may need to ramp up presence at national level and if that happens the NUG will represent you. Your opinions need to be aired more loudly than ever and our channels - the NUG Facebook, Twitter, our email list, the conferences and surveys, local meetings, and EMIS's own channels - directly feed into the process. Our regular meetings with EMIS have become more fruitful in the past couple of years and we believe we do work with a listening organisation; we need to make the most of this.

We'll try to keep our members informed as things develop. Meanwhile if you have colleagues in local practices which are not yet members of the NUG, please do try to get them signed up and involved to make us even stronger. Exciting times are ahead!


EMIS Group unveils the future of connected healthcare 

The UK’s leading healthcare software provider EMIS Group today (30 November 2018) revealed plans for the next generation of connected healthcare technology.

EMIS-X, a new cloud-based solution that seamlessly links different healthcare teams and systems, is at the centre of a suite of innovations from the company, which serves healthcare professionals in over 10,000 UK organisations. 

The next generation software will upgrade and extend EMIS Web, the clinical system used by 56% of GPs, to meet the current and future needs of customers and end users including patients, clinicians and the NHS. 

Built on a cloud platform, EMIS-X is a new ecosystem that fully supports NHS Digital interoperability standards but goes significantly further by allowing applications to selectively share live data through cross application working. Its modular design will enable EMIS Web users to transition seamlessly to the new platform.  The company’s new Group Chief Technology Officer Pete Malcolm is leading its development. 

Key benefits are: 

  • Clinicians working in any location with any third-party technology will be able to view and share vital patient information safely and ethically.  They will be able to see a consolidated view of key medical information across healthcare organisations using EMIS-X, partner products, other NHS systems and patients themselves, giving unique insight into patients’ medical history. 
  • EMIS-X will not only help improve the quality of care through embedded clinical intelligence but will also save time currently spent trying to access records in disparate, unconnected systems.
  • The interoperability at the heart of the architecture will make it easier for new solution providers with interesting technologies such as artificial intelligence to enter the NHS market.

EMIS Group CEO Andy Thorburn said: “From the start, EMIS Group has led the way in interoperability and we have been working closely with clinicians and other customers during 2018 to develop EMIS-X. We believe it is the blueprint for the future of connected healthcare in the UK.

“EMIS-X is massively scalable and provides unprecedented levels of protection for patient data, including strong encryption of sensitive data. 

“It is designed as a portfolio of foundation services upon which clinical applications can be developed, both by EMIS Group and partners. This will also allow new solution providers with interesting technologies such as artificial intelligence to overcome the traditional barriers to market entry, leveraging the interoperability at the heart of our new architecture.”

He added: “We believe EMIS-X will help to hugely improve efficiency and patient safety, while providing dramatic cost savings to the NHS.  We see millions of hours currently spent by patients and staff in repeating information at each stage of the patient’s healthcare journey being eliminated and the management of medicines in pharmacy being revolutionised by better insight and more efficient services delivered through EMIS-X.”

Among the new features for EMIS-X is federated appointments, which for example will enable clinicians to instantly search providers of an investigation service such as an MRI scan, to immediately book the earliest appointment nearest to the patient’s location, giving patients the details by text, email or print-out. 

Other developments announced today include: 

  • Intelligent Consulting – voice recognition technology currently being tested in EMIS-X and using artificial intelligence to make consultations more patient-friendly and save clinicians time. It will automatically interpret patient-clinician conversations and turn them into medical codes that present relevant data or launch and complete clinical decision tools. Doctors will be able to concentrate fully on the patient, rather than retrieving information from the computer.    
  • GP video consultations via Patient Access.   Patients will be able to book video appointments, as an alternative to in-person surgery visits, reducing the need to travel and enabling remote patient management for a significant proportion of conditions. 
  • EMIS Health analytics – a powerful healthcare intelligence suite, giving users insight across a breadth of clinical and administrative indicators, including appointments capacity, and prescribing and referral patterns. It enables ‘at-a-glance’ overviews of performance, enabling commissioners to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare.  

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