Notes from Watchdog meeting 12th May 2022

Thu, 12/05/2022 - 22:42 -- alan.selwyn


We had a robust discussion with EMIS today.  Sadly these notes seem almost identical to the meeting we held back in October and those more recently  - little seems to have changed in the intervening 7m and EMIS Web still has significant issues.

The regular performance metrics we had previously requested have not yet been provided. A number of items of EMIS bugs and poor performance have dragged on without substantive evidence of fixes. We fed back general user dissatisfaction and the conversations happening in some areas of some users expressing a wish to change systems and are aware of new entrants in the GP IT marketplace. We understand EMIS are putting resources into system improvement and are being closely monitored by NHSD but are still concerned that problems remain unresolved on from one monthly Watchdog to the next and that we need clearer information on exactly what is being done so we can share it with members.

Resource Publisher and Out of Memory problems. RP rollout has been put on hold yet again to the 900 organisations which so far have not received it. This protects them from the multiple crashes each day experienced by some practices that prevent access to templates and protocols without closing and reloading EMIS. Hopefully a fix will be with us in June and we trust it will not be another false dawn.

Appointment system refresh problem (the consulting view refreshes unreliably so arrivals may be missed) – fix is currently being trialled and this threw up some other issues with .NET version and other system changes needed. Hopefully roll-out end of May/early June

EPS bulk signing being worked on – no date yet. We stressed this is a major need that other systems have had for years.

QOF searches must run in real time all the time, not just when users jump up and down towards the end of the QOF year. We were told “we are not going to get into the same situation as last year” but were also given no concrete plans – there is some project or other to look into this. We said this is not good enough. We cannot run our practices with old data For instance in my practice (Alan Selwyn), the QOF searches (How am I Driving - the only one available)  last ran 12 days ago – unacceptable. These searches run on EMIS servers and there is a capacity issue and we talked about prioritising certain searches above others but such are the huge data requirements at ICS level that something has to be done to improve data capacity. We were told a couple of years back the move to AWS (Amazon Web Services) would solve bottlenecks but these searches remain on EMIS servers for unspecified reasons.

Top 10 / 100 user problems -no progress on publishing this information to keep users up to date with the burning issues.

GP2GP problems – despite recent improvements there are some national issues causing failures and some systems do not transfer well and some non-EMIS practices have not switched over to large message transfer yet.

Passwords for EMIS Now Having a separate password for EMIS Now which requires renewal every 90 days seems nonsensical to users when there is no sensitive information (if needed a password could guard ‘cases’ but all the general information parts certainly do not need it. It certainly inhibits use of the system and the very useful information it holds, which might reduce calls to the service-desk. Apparently the system requires it and this cannot be changed, however single sign-on through EMIS is ‘coming’, some time (we’ve been told this previously).  We are also concerned the search function in EMIS Now needs improvement in order to find relevant information.

Live chat in EMIS Now is hardly that and we have asked that this be improved (or removed if it cannot deliver).

Clearer information is needed from EMIS generally on what they are doing to fix bugs and improve the system. There is a lot of stuff going on in the background but the paucity of communication does not give confidence to users. There have been some recent bulletins and updates on the RSS feed but there needs to be more.

BP latest results not showing in templates has been fixed.

We touched on a number of other issues but ran out of time.


If you want us to raise any issues in our regular monthly Watchdog meeting

Probably the easiset way is post them on our Facebook EMIS NUG Watchdog page

We are happy to take forward any user issues that have first been through the usual EMIS support channels. If you feel you are not getting the matter resolved or if you feel it is a serious safety issue or a more general problem that continues to affect the smooth operation of the system, we'll be pleased to discuss with EMIS. We endeavour to feed back but sometimes are prevented from doing so by issues of commercial or contractual sensitivity.  

Otherwise please email the NUG office if you'd like any matters discussed. It is helpful if you can reference the response you have had from support.




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