EMIS Health implements open standards for interoperability

03 Feb 2016

EMIS Health has become the first UK clinical systems provider to implement new open standards for interoperability in the NHS – enabling clinicians using its systems to securely share data with any other third party system across health and social care.

Today’s announcement at the EMIS Health Customer Conference in Stratford-Upon-Avon (3 February 2016) will help the NHS to realise its vision of joined-up care for millions of patients. It follows the company’s recent signing of techUK’s Interoperability Charter.

From mid-February,the company will begin rolling out an update to its EMIS Web clinical system – used by almost 4,500 GP practices – that allows it to interoperate with any third party supplier who conforms to a published set of open application programme interfaces (APIs). In due course, clinicians, whatever IT system they use, will be able to securely share data with colleagues using any of EMIS Health’s primary, community, secondary and pharmacy clinical systems. 


This milestone puts in place a solid foundation for EMIS Health to rapidly evolve innovative interoperable services. Initially, third party systems will be able to securely obtain real-time primary care patient information, subject to tight information governance controls.

EMIS Group’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Shaun O’Hanlon said: “For the last 13 years we have run a highly successful partner programme using our own API to enable integration with third party systems. We are now taking that commitment to a new level – using best practice standards developed by the wider healthcare IT industry as the basis on which we will open up access to our systems for any supplier within the NHS and social care, including NHS Trusts.

“This demonstrates our absolute dedication to freeing up the movement of vital patient information within the NHS to enable more joined-up and informed care. It also supports NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens’ determination to make technology an enabler, not a barrier to new ways of organising clinical care.”

Dr Shaun O’Hanlon

The unimpeded, secure movement of data across the NHS is a major theme of an independent white paper presented today by Mark Leaning, an innovator and entrepreneur in healthcare technology.