We held our regular quarterly Joint Working group meeting with EMIS on 23rd Jan 2020.
As always we had a good meeting with interested and active participation and healthy dialogue with various EMIS senior team members. These meetings are a great way to represent user views gleaned from local contacts and the conference, Facebook and other online fora, phone calls and emails to our office and to hear what EMIS plan for us.
We discussed the need for EMIS to keep in touch with practices more widely on a regular basis as things are moving so fast currently and with EMIS-X on the immediate horizon. We thought a monthly online lunchtime meeting with Q&A facility (and which could be recorded) would be one way now the regular local meetings are not currently scheduled (though ad hoc user group meetings would take place). This is especially important as the EMIS Web front page RSS feed is still broken with no fix in sight. EMIS is planning a regular email bulletin but we also questioned the accuracy of the database of users. And the EMIS local representative structure has changed greatly - EMIS promise to send out communication to all users to bring them up to date on the big internal restructuring they have undergone.
SNOMED is now released to most of the estate. There is a wealth of training material on EMIS Now, though not all easily accessible. EMIS apologised for the training systems all being converted without warning recently.
We looked at the recent improvements to EMIS Now. This is a powerful system capable of much and we suggested some improvements. The lack of a single sign-on from EMIS Web hinders its use somewhat but this will be rectified in EMIS-X.
We met the Head of Training, Lisa Babb and she told us the ambitious plan to bring all of EMIS and Egton training under one team and link it to a Learning Management System (LMS) to track every user’s training needs and linked in to EMIS Now. Last year there were 3,500 forum questions answered and 2,800 training sessions delivered. Support can identify practice use of the help lines – 75% of the calls are for issues which can be resolved through better understanding of the system, so by improving training resources and pointing users to them, practices can make more efficient use of the system and be more autonomous. The support service has incredibly rich data on the type of calls received and ‘cases’ raised and the people making those calls. Some practices use the support lines very much more than others, so practices requiring more help can be identified and additional training offered. In addtion to the free online training reources, bespoke packages of training will be available at cost but these will be better structiured than the rather generic bits of training time offered in the past.
We looked at a few enhancements – EMIS Web enhancements will continue but on a smaller scale now that EMIS-X is under full-scale development. Minor improvements will continue to be rolled out and on a more frequent basis than in the past due to improved workflows in the development workflows.
Resource Publisher is still a major concern to us. 900 practices currently have it but it is not currently being rolled out. It has been decoupled from EMIS Web so that any further problems will not impact on the main system. Improvements to its speed and capacity are being made and rollout is due to restart in April to high priority areas and it will progress as reliability is proven. The lack of a central publishing and sharing system for templates, protocols and local searches holds back a lot of collaborative development which the main competitor system has had for some years.
Under Watchdog we discussed 21 issues with the system, some now resolved.
We still await definitive guidance on whether we really must archive completed Tasks. Words like ‘advisable’ and ‘recommended’ are not definitive.
Patient Online aggregated data is sent to NHSD under their rules: EMIS cannot infleuence this. We need our own searches so that we can defend ourselves against any erroneous data which may be used by agencies such as CQC.
We’ll soon get some communication from EMIS regarding online visibility and confidentiality rules.
As we have done in the past, we asked EMIS for early release of some basic 'quick and dirty' QOF searches – they are hindered by NHSD rules but some ‘at your own risk’ searches to help get us underway from April would be of great help, even if they later prove to be a little inaccurate once the Business Rules are finally released.
The Screen Messaging unreliable user list will be fixed in v9.8 but the PDS random dropout when doing repeat Medication Management workflow seems to be a problem with updated Smartcard software – one solution may be to rollback the Identity Agent to an earlier version.
Quite a lot else was discussed but we’re running out of space here.
Don't forget to let us know of any Watchdog (bugs) or UDR (enhancement) requests you have (eg via the EMISNUG UDR Facebook page or email from this website). Our next meeting is April 2nd.