COVID-19 Response

01 Dec 2020

As part of our ongoing efforts to ensure we can offer patients, users and the NHS the best response possible to assist them in managing the evolving Coronavirus situation we have pulled together a summary of our response to date.

For the latest COVID-19 user guides and resources, click below.


COVID-19 vaccinations

The COVID-19 vaccination programme in England is expected to start in December and Outcomes4Health, by EMIS Group company Pinnacle, is one of the point-of-care systems accredited to support the delivery of vaccinations. The solution is ready now, though the actual start date of the vaccination programme will depend upon vaccine availability and instructions from NHS England.

Data captured in accredited systems will automatically feed back into EMIS Web in the same way you receive information about remote flu vaccinations.

NHS England’s recent COVID-19 deployment strategy letter outlined three ways for vaccines to be administered; at large-scale vaccination sites, (akin to COVID-19 testing sites), by community/primary care led teams and in acute trusts.

To help keep you up to date we’ve published FAQs on EMIS Now.

Primary Care


COVID-19 vaccinations

With multiple COVID vaccines going through final stages of approval, plans are now being formed to efficiently deliver these vaccines to those most in need. We’ve been working closely with colleagues at NHS England and NHS Digital, and want to reassure you that we’ve got you covered with the tools you need.

Patient information recorded at mass vaccination centres will be sent electronically back into EMIS Web and we're creating a suite of searches, templates, alerts and protocols to help you manage your patient population. 

To find out more about the tools available and how to make the best use of them, join one of our free webinars:

Monday 7 December - 14.00-15.00

Wednesday 9 December - 10.00-11.00

Creation and release of COVID-19 codes

Working closely with the NHS Digital terminology service and all other GP Suppliers to ensure consistency of terms being used across the UK, national codes have been created to support the care and tracking of patients during the outbreak. 

Release of searches to identify suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infections

We have released a suite of searches to identify suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infections. Available to all EMIS Web organisations in England and Wales. Released as both Read v2 and SNOMED CT versions, searches have been fully mapped to Read v2, meaning that Enterprise Search & Reports organisations which have not yet been migrated to SNOMED CT will still be able to use these searches with complete accuracy.

Alert protocol and template release - Identifying and tracking potential COVID-19 infections

A new EMIS Library alert protocol and clinical template has been released, designed to support the care and tracking of patients displaying influenza-like symptoms who may recently have travelled abroad. If this alert displays for a patient, a quick template can be launched that will allow any symptoms, recent travel history, and whether any further action relating to a potential or confirmed COVID-19 infection is required.

Supporting hot and cold clinics with EMIS Web

Take a look at how EMIS Web for Clinical Services can support the varied needs of local primary care systems in delivering hot and cold clinics, with our explanatory animation. 

Configuration for NHS 111 COVID-19 Clinical Assessment Service (CCAS)

To enable you to set up triage lists for the new NHS 111 CCAS using GP Connect functionality, take a look here.

Best practice prescribing during COVID-19

Take a look at this page to find out how paperless prescribing can help alleviate pressure for GP surgeries at this time.

Using the Electronic Prescribing Service (EPS) during COVID-19

EPS enables prescriptions to be sent electronically to a patient’s nominated pharmacy, allowing patients to pick up their medication directly without the need to visit their GP practice. During this crisis, EPS can help reduce exposure to COVID-19 for both patients and practice healthcare professionals. Find out more here.

Working with NHS Digital on COVID-19 Insights

We're working with NHS Digital on coronavirus insights, including an automated search tool to give GPs a list of all patients potentially at high risk from COVID-19, complete with alerts. 

Supporting remote working

Visit our dedicated page for more information on remote working solutions.

Video Consult available for free in England

In response to the escalating COVID-19 pandemic we have enabled Video Consult free of charge for all EMIS Web GP practices in England. Video Consult is an integrated feature of EMIS Web that allows practices to hold video consultations with patients via Patient Access. As current national guidance includes measures such as avoiding close contact with people who are unwell and self-isolation for those with a high temperature or new continuous cough, Video Consult offers practices a way to consult with patients from their own home. 

Online Consult available for free in Scotland

To help Scottish practices manage patient demand during the pandemic, we’ve enabled our Online Consult solution for free. This system allows Scottish GPs to triage patients before they arrive at the practice, helping them to manage potential coronavirus cases, whilst ensuring face-to-face appointments are managed safely and speedily. The system is also helpful for non COVID-19 related cases, and enables practices to manage workloads efficiently by directing patients to the most appropriate avenue for care. 

Reducing pressures in primary care

Online Consult

We’ve added a new patient-facing form relating to COVID-19 queries into Online Consult topics. Patients who are concerned that they may be at risk of having contracted COVID-19, or who have any queries about COVID-19, can complete this form online. The information makes it clear that patients should not attend their GP surgery, and also gives clear information of the circumstances in which they should seek help and what they should do. This reduces the number of patients requesting appointments, as well as the number of phone calls coming through to practices. 

Community pharmacy

Pharmacy bundle

We're offering a bundle of three products for free to help community pharmacies during this crisis. Our Medicines Manager, My Local Pharmacy and Constant Connect solutions are all available at no charge until end of June. Visit our dedicated page for more information on our community pharmacy solutions. 

Patient Access for Professionals

To assist pharmacists in delivering services to patients we are happy to announce that we are enabling free video consultations for pharmacists via Patient Access for Professionals.

This will enable pharmacists to set up consultation services for patients in their area and continue to serve their local community without requiring patients to come out of isolation.

To find out more and to register your interest please click here.

Urgent and Emergency Care


We're conscious that emergency departments may require help in dealing with patient flow. We've created a page on EMIS Now that outlines simple suggestions to help identify, visualise, track and manage patients passing through the emergency department.

Medicines Management in Hospitals

Electronic Prescribing and Medicines Administration (ePMA)

During these times when infection control is so important, our ePMA system helps to reduce the use of difficult to clean paper drug charts from hospitals, whilst supporting remote working. Take a look here for our suggestions on how to maximise functionality within the ePMA system to help during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Patient facing information and support

Patient Access

Patient Access is regularly updated to reflect the latest COVID-19 guidance. We've created coronavirus symptom checker tool aligned with NHS 111 guidance. The Patient Access app also integrates with video consult to enable video consultations with patients. Patients can order repeat prescriptions via EPS using Patient Access, eliminating the need to visit their GP practice, thereby reducing pressures and reducing the risk of exposure to the virus. 

Patient Info

Patient Info is a regularly updated library of reliable, clinically authored content. There is now a dedicated coronavirus hub for all the latest articles and guidance. 

Understanding Total Triage

We’ve put together a free animation for GP practices, which helps explain to patients how care can be accessed during COVID-19. With many changes to the way primary care services are delivered at this time, this video helps encourage patients to continue to seek medical attention where required, as well as outlining the total triage model in simple terms. You can download this patient animation today via EMIS Now.

GP Websites (delivered via EMIS content management system)

Provide functionality for GP surgeries to provide live updates to their website with latest Covid-19 information and guidance.

My Local Pharmacy

With My Local Pharmacy, patients can manage their repeat prescription requests and receive push notifications on progress. The mobile app can be downloaded on the patient's smartphone or tablet device. 

Business Continuity

EMIS Group has an extensive business continuity plan to ensure that all of our systems will continue to be available as normal in the event of needing to close one or more of our sites, either as a precaution or in the event that a member/members of staff test positive for coronavirus. EMIS Group/EMIS Health holds the BSI Business Continuity Management ISO22301 certificate and has detailed plans in place for every business area.

In the event that 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

In the event that business continuity plans are deployed, regular customer updates will be provided via EMIS Now.

Research and Insights

We're collaborating with academic partners to recruit practices using EMIS Health systems into specific COVID-19 research programmes to evaluate new treatments and vaccinations. 

Qsurveillance Update - Near real-time surveillance which collects, analyses and reports on rates of infectious diseases

Qsurveillance has been updated to include new COVID-19 codes created to allow effective tracking and analyses of infection rates.

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