A move to EMIS Web is supporting collaborative working in Reading

The team at Western Elms Surgery have been amazed by how straightforward we made switching from their previous clinical system to EMIS Web, making it easier for them to provide collaborative healthcare.

As a practice caring for 18,500 patients on the outskirts of Reading, Western Elms Surgery sees a lot of movement of patients. Because they also wanted to work more closely with another local practice - Circuit Lane Surgery - what the practice really needed was a clinical system that was simple to use and helped them provide better patient care.

“Our practice manager had used EMIS Web before and really liked it so was a bit of an advocate for us moving,” Jackie Holmes the deputy practice manager at the surgery told us. Although one of the GPs at Western Elms was part of the user group for their previous clinical system “he was a bit fed up of how things were going, so was also happy to make the move”.

Circuit Lane Surgery was already an EMIS Web practice and so the Western Elms team decided to move to allow a closer working relationship. This meant they would be able to implement the same principles and processes across both practices whilst improving the communication between them.

A straightforward switch

Whilst switching clinical systems can be a daunting prospect, Jackie said she was really happy with the process of moving and explained “all in all I thought it was great. I’m not great at IT but I think most of the staff would say it went much more smoothly than expected.”

“We had trainers that came in before, during and after migration and they were very good”

Jackie Holmes, deputy practice manager

When it came to go-live day there were a few challenges to overcome. “We hadn’t created appointment screens in advance, which we should have. But we had a couple of trainers from EMIS Health as well as the Commissioning Support Unit (CSU) who were very knowledgeable and we managed to create what we needed in three hours.” The support that was on hand during the go-live process meant that the surgery staff could continue to work with minimal downtime and any potential obstacles were overcome as quickly as possible.

A user-friendly system

The main benefit the practice has seen since they moved to EMIS Web has been the ease of use. The practice staff have been able to find all the information they need far more quickly, speeding up their consultations and searches. Jackie told us that with EMIS Web “ It's just so much more logical than our previous system it’s so easy to find patients and overall it’s just quicker and easier to move around the system.”

Paving the way for more collaborative working

Being on the same clinical system as Circuit Lane Surgery has brought its own benefits too.

“We’re now able to log on to each other’s system from either site which makes it a lot easier to control appointment schedules. We’re also able to monitor workflows in all areas.”

Jackie Holmes, deputy practice manager

This improved communication allows the teams at both practices to access relevant patient and population data. As a result, patients are able to attend either practice and be seen by a clinician with access to their information. This not only helps to improve the patient experience but also means that the practice are working towards the NHS’s aims of a more joined-up health service.

Supported by expert training

Our support didn’t stop once EMIS Web was in place. Our range of training packages and online support centre continue to provide support to the team at Western Elms Surgery. With training and support available in a number of formats we’re helping to ensure they have all the knowledge they need to continue making the most of EMIS Web.

“We were very impressed in the training package we were given as part of the migration.”

Jackie Holmes, deputy practice manager

Jackie has been thrilled with the help and support she received from our support team, saying, “everyone we’ve interacted with has been very helpful, on a personal basis I have found them to be very approachable, and they’ve taught us everything we need to know.”

Jackie also attended two of our #emiswebsmart training sessions with another colleague from the surgery, learning how to carry out advanced searches over the course of two four hour sessions. These sessions provided a level of knowledge that she simply didn’t have access to with her old system. “In all the years of using our old system, I still wouldn’t know how to do this”, she told us.

A positive change

The switch to EMIS Web has seen a number of positive changes from making it easier to work alongside Circuit Lane Surgery to making searches and consultations simpler and faster. The training and support received has also meant that the team have been able to get to grips with EMIS Web in a way that wasn’t possible with their previous system.

Because EMIS Web has brought about so much positive change and made the working lives of the staff at Western Elms Surgery that bit easier, Jackie is already recommending us to other practices.

“I can’t fault the process at all.”

Jackie Holmes, deputy practice manager