The Coronavirus outbreak has continued to evolve since its emergence in December 2019, with the WHO declaring the virus a global pandemic just days ago. With 173,344 reported cases of the virus across 152 countries and territories as of 17 March, the speed and scale at which COVID-19 is spreading is causing concern for many. But the WHO Director-General was very clear on one thing; this is a ‘controllable pandemic’, and we must ensure we take the necessary precautions to prevent further spread of the virus.
Supporting the NHS response to COVID-19
As leader of our coronavirus response team we hear from Ian Bailey, senior clinical director, district nurse and Queen’s Nurse, on how EMIS Health is committed to supporting the NHS through this crisis.
“We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: all countries can still change the course of this pandemic.”
At EMIS Health, it’s our top priority to do all we can in this time of crisis to support clinicians and patients. The COVID-19 outbreak is a rapidly evolving situation, and we’re dedicated to ensuring we use our resources to support public health.
Free Video Consult solution
As announced on the 13th March, our Video Consult solution has been enabled to all EMIS Web practices in England free of charge for at least 12 weeks. This functionality will allow GPs to conduct video consultations with patients remotely via Patient Access, helping reduce possible transmission of the virus in suspected cases, ensuring support for patients in isolation, and providing a business continuity solution for practices that are forced to close. You can find out more here, as well as information on how you can deploy Video Consult to your practice. Whilst we continue to support EMIS Web customers through our usual channels, all support for our Video Consult solution can be accessed via EMIS Now. We’re hoping this technology can help more practices manage their response to the coronavirus.
All our tools and resources in one place
We’ve pulled together all the latest information and EMIS Web support into one place, to help our customers respond to COVID-19 more easily and quickly. We’re reviewing and updating this information regularly, and any resources we can provide to help identify and support the care of patients in the UK will be available on this page.
Safe and reliable advice for patients
Our Patient.info website has a vast resource of clinically authored content to help support patients to manage their health. In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve created a dedicated coronavirus hub, which pulls together all the latest information and guidance. You can also take a look at our reliable coronavirus symptom checking tool via Patient Access, created by clinicians, reviewed regularly, and aligned to NHS 111 guidance.
“This is going to be a national effort. Together, we all need to be brave enough to stay calm, act rationally and follow the science. We will need to take care not to spread the disease and take care of each other.”
Keeping the wheels turning
We’re dedicated to supporting public health at this time, which is why we’ve been working hard to implement measures that reduce the risk of any service interruption for our customers. We have extensive business continuity plans for all areas of our business, to ensure that our systems will continue to be available as normal in the event of needing to close one or more of our sites. In the event we have cause to deploy our business continuity plans, support services will remain available via the existing channels, with the primary route being our online support portal, EMIS Now. If this should happen, we’ll also provide regular customer updates via EMIS Now to keep you in the loop.
Looking after our people
Our business continuity measures not only ensure we can continue to deliver services to our customers, but also that we take good care of our people. Setting our people up to work remotely, and establishing procedures for any cases of self-isolation will help protect their health and wellbeing. With an in house team of Mental Health First Aiders, we’re also making sure our people have someone they can talk to in this unsettling time.
Whilst we’re heavily reliant on the NHS and all of the professionals who continue to provide amazing care in the face of this crisis, our collective response can make a huge impact. So many things seem beyond our control, but there’s one choice that still sits with each and every one of us; the way we choose to react. We can all make a conscious choice to be kind, to be caring and compassionate, and to look out for one another. We can choose to regularly wash our hands with soap for 20 seconds. We can choose to check in with friends, family and colleagues and see how they are coping. We can choose to shop sensibly, without leaving the vulnerable to go wanting. We can choose to self-isolate if we show symptoms, and follow NHS guidelines. We can choose to read reliable information, and take care of our mental wellbeing. And if we all make these choices, we have the power to make a positive difference.
“This amazing spirit of human solidarity must become even more infectious than the virus itself. Although we may have to be physically apart from each other for a while, we can come together in ways we never have before. We’re all in this together. And we can only succeed together.”