EMIS is one of the four main suppliers of GP computer systems in Wales who have signed an agreement with NHS Wales to provide the technical solution that will make the IHR available across the country.
The IHR is a Welsh Assembly Government initiative that allows important patient information to be securely shared between GPs, emergency care and out of hours services - with the patient's consent. It gives an electronic view of key information held on the GP’s practice computer system.
In collaboration with NHS Wales and system providers Adastra, InPractice Systems and iSOFT, EMIS has conducted development work to ensure that patient information from its 159 practices in Wales can be shared through the IHR.
In EMIS' case, the data-sharing will be facilitated by introducing real-time streaming of patient information from each of its practices into EMIS Web. EMIS Web will then link into a technical platform developed by NHS Wales to connect the four systems.
English patients in the Gateshead, Liverpool and Cumbria areas already benefit from the sharing of information for out of hours care via a direct link between EMIS Web and the Adastra system. Clinicians report benefits including more efficient and safer patient care.
Sean Riddell, Chief Executive of EMIS Group plc, said: "The Individual Health Record is a fantastic example of how collaboration between different suppliers - and a commitment to interoperability between their systems - can improve healthcare.
"Based on our own experience of other projects, we know that sharing information across the wider healthcare team delivers not only more efficient services but also better and safer patient care.
"We congratulate the Welsh Assembly Government on the introduction of the Individual Health Record and look forward to helping to make it happen on the ground."
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Established in 1987, EMIS* (Egton Medical Information Systems Ltd) is the UK's leading supplier of software and related services to GP practices. As at 18 October 2010, 53.7% of GPs in the UK use an EMIS system, including 159 practices based in Wales (figure includes current users and confirmed orders pending implementation). www.emis-online.com
EMIS' new system - EMIS Web - has the potential to transform healthcare by enabling GPs and other healthcare practitioners to connect with each other and securely share access to a patient's electronic health record. The core GP functionality of EMIS Web received full roll-out approval from NHS Connecting for Health on 7 September 2010 and the system is now being installed in GP practices across the UK. It is already being widely used to support extended primary care services in areas including Liverpool, London and Cumbria, where it is saving time and improving patient care.
* EMIS is a registered trademark of Egton Medical Information Systems Limited. Registered in England. No 2117205. Registered Office: Fulford Grange, Micklefield Lane, Rawdon, Leeds LS19 6BA