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EMIS, INPS and Adastra collaborate to develop integrated IT system to support GPEACs

EMIS : 30 June, 2008  (Company News)
EMIS and INPS - the UK's two leading GP systems providers - and Adastra, the UK's market leader in out-of-hours and unscheduled primary care solutions, are joining forces to work together to produce an integrated IT system to support GP-led equitable access centres (GPEACs).
The three leading UK healthcare IT providers have joined forces to develop a new generation of integrated system to support the fast-changing primary care landscape.

Between them, the three companies are responsible for systems supporting the care of more than 58 million patients across the UK.

The new collaboration will see EMIS and INPS' comprehensive clinical management software interoperate with Adastra's market-leading operational system, which is used in 95 per cent of unscheduled and out of hours care hubs in the UK.

The end result will be a comprehensive ‘joined up’ IT system designed specifically to meet the needs of the new generation of healthcare envisaged in Lord Darzi's NHS Next Stage Review.

In a move away from the idea of creating a monolithic single system, the new product will build on the components and data of the three partners' existing systems, with additional functionality where necessary fully utilising interoperability with partner products.

INPS and EMIS have agreed to interoperate on future projects, ensuring that these new products can benefit from the patient records held in their respective systems. Patient data can be securely shared across a wide range of healthcare settings and builds further on the existing relationship between EMIS and Adastra.

Work is already underway on the development and configuration steps needed to ensure that a conjoined system is available well before the April 2009 deadline for many GP access centres to go live.

Dr Mike Rooney, clinical director of the Mastercall service in Stockport and a representative of the North West Regional Provider Group, commented: 'This is a very compelling systems model which will make it much easier to drive the integration of discrete services in each locality.'

Dr Charlie Stuart-Buttle, chair of the EMIS National User Group, said: 'This development reflects the spirit of the times - rather than reinvent the wheel every time the healthcare landscape changes, users want to build on locally successful and popular solutions. This is excellent news.'

While the primary focus for the project is to provide a new IT solution for GP access centres, the collaboration also offers the potential to benefit existing and future out of hours care.

Lynn Woods, chief executive officer of Adastra, said: 'Many operational hub services supporting out of hours care have integrated with NHS walk-in centres and are starting to intercept primary care traffic presenting to A and E. This collaboration offers the potential to better support all urgent and unscheduled care episodes, wherever they present.'

Sean Riddell, healthcare managing director of EMIS, said: 'This is a landmark project which will combine the benefits and expertise of three, best-of-breed clinical and operational healthcare IT systems.

'Although it is still early days, we are very excited about the potential of this new collaboration to transform the healthcare IT market.'

Max Brighton, managing director of INPS, said: 'INPS, like EMIS and Adastra, is firmly committed to interoperability as a way of extending our service offer to both existing and new customer groups. This moves decisively in the direction of allowing local health communities to choose what works for them at a pace that suits them best. We are delighted to be part of such an innovative project.'

The three leaders stressed that the new system would be compatible with, and complementary to, NHS Connecting for Health's Summary Care Record.
Tom Davies chair of the National Vision User Group said: 'I am pleased with the continuing cooperation between the two major GP suppliers and Adastra which will enable us to build on what we have already. This should protect our patients' care in the new world of primary care that we have to work in.'

As well as GP access centres and existing out of hours provision, the new working collaboration also has the potential to drive the development of further IT solutions to support: long-term conditions, practice-based commissioning, referrals management and other specialist and out-of-hospital services.
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