Our interoperability

We’re helping health and care professionals across care settings to access the vital information they need by continuously improving how we interoperate.

Why is interoperability so important to us?

Accurate, timely and informed care relies heavily on being able to access up-to-date patient information. Yet with hundreds of different IT systems being used across the UK’s health and care services, gaining access to this information isn’t always as straightforward as it needs to be.

To break down the barriers that stand between clinicians and access to complete patient records, we’re continuously improving how we interoperate. In fact, we’re so dedicated to doing so that we were even been named us as the UK’s number one supplier for interoperability in KLAS’s 2018 Interoperability Report.

It’s also why we were one of the first organisations to become a member of INTEROPen, and why we frequently meet and work on programmes with the Professional Records Standards Body (PRSB). Not only that, but we collaborate closely with NHS Digital on a number of schemes and work across every single one of their domains too.  

“Over our 30-year history we have consistently taken proactive steps to enable our systems to be interoperable.”

Dr Shaun O’Hanlon, chief medical officer, EMIS Group

While there are dozens of reasons why interoperability is so important to us, there’s one key thing that drives everything that we do: we want to make sure everyone has what they need to ensure patients can live longer, healthier lives.

Supporting better information for front-line healthcare professionals

Health and care professionals across settings can make accurate, safe and fully informed choices about their patients by viewing a complete record of their medications, allergies, discharge notes and other information. 

Helping organisations to provide the best services through big data

At both a national and local level, healthcare providers can truly optimise their care delivery, better plan their services and make the most effective use of their staff, budgets and resources by being able to analyse integrated data.

How do we interoperate?

By improving our own capabilities while working with other providers, we can make a real difference to both the care health professionals provide and the efficiency of the organisations they work for.

By using technology to help different health and care teams to work together

  • We’re working to make sure that all of our products comply with SNOMED CT coding and that our interoperability meets the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR). With our systems meeting set standards and using the same language, it’s easier for them to speak to each other – and for clinicians to view shared information.
  • We’re currently building an interoperability platform that’ll support the Transfer of Care Initiative and the sharing of pathology messaging. We’re also working towards linking these capabilities with GP Connect.

By leading the way with GP Connect

A national interoperability platform that we’re working on with NHS Digital and INTEROPen, GP Connect gives care providers across all settings access to detailed patient information that’s been recorded by a GP or nurse in primary care. The platform is now in live pilot in Leeds, and is already being used to join up care record data stored in EMIS Web with Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s patient administration system (PAS).

In the future, GP Connect will involve the sharing of medications and allergies in a FHIR-structured format so that healthcare professionals in secondary, mental health, social, community and other settings can make safer, more informed prescribing decisions. The platform will also allow clinicians outside of primary care to book GP appointments, a feature that we’re keen to pilot soon.

By collaborating with partners and other clinical system providers

  • We publish our own open standards and support open application programming interface (API) libraries so that data can be shared between our products and other suppliers’.
  • We’re working with TPP to give users of both EMIS Web and SystmOne a combined view of primary and community-recorded data from within either clinical IT system.
  • Our partner programme has helped integrate care information for GPs for more than ten years – today, our partners offer over 130 products that integrate with our clinical systems.
  • The Medical Interoperability Gateway (MIG) – created by Healthcare Gateway, an organisation we set up with INPS – gives clinicians across settings real-time access to up-to-date patient information.                                                                             

Where we’re already making a difference

While we’re always going to be passionate about improving interoperability, the real-life stories about the impact it can have on patients’ and staff’s lives really help us to stay motivated. Here are just some of those stories:

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