EMIS Health

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EMIS Health, formerly known as Egton Medical Information Systems,[1] supplies Electronic patient record systems and software used in Primary Care in England. The company is based in Leeds. It claims that more than half of GP practices across the UK use EMIS software.[2]

EMIS Group, which includes Egton Medical Information Systems Limited, also comprises:

  • Ascribe, a provider of software and IT services to secondary care, sold to EMIS by ECI Partners in 2013;[3]
  • Rx Systems, whose software is used by 34.9% of community pharmacies in the UK;[4]
  • Digital Healthcare, a provider of diabetic retinopathy screening and other ophthalmology-related solutions;[5]
  • Egton, who provide IT infrastructure, engineering and support.
  • Patient UK

The company bought Pinbellcom Group which supplies administration and compliance software to both the primary and the secondary care markets in July 2015.[6]

Healthcare record systems[edit]

EMIS is one of the suppliers approved by the GP Systems of Choice and so funded by the NHS. Through its Patient Access service, EMIS was the first clinical system providers to enable patients to book GP appointments online and order repeat prescriptions.[7] Patient Access also enables patients to access their own records online.[8] EMIS Web had been rolled out to 3750 practices in September 2014.[9]

EMIS Web allows primary, secondary and community healthcare practitioners to view and contribute to a patient’s electronic healthcare record. Failures to link up medical records held by hospitals and those kept by their family doctors put patient's lives at risk, according to Prof Steve Field of the Care Quality Commission. He says this could be tackled by giving patients access to their own records – a system pioneered using Emis software, in an attempt to restore patient confidence, by Dr Amir Hannan when he took over Harold Shipman's practice. "He’s got examples of patients being admitted to hospital where they have had to show the consultants their record which may have saved their lives. It’s policy to try and make it happen. But it’s not moving quickly enough.”[10] Emis were the first provider of GP record systems to permit Patient record access.[11] EMIS said that the numbers of practices providing patients with online access to their records ‘shot up’ after it allowed GPs to tailor the parts of the record that patients can see.[12] Shaun O’Hanlon, EMIS's Chief Clinical Officer says that the legal framework around data sharing is the main problem in integrating patient data because the Data Protection Act 1998 puts responsibilities on GPs to protect the confidentiality of patient data, but at the same time they have a “duty to share” when it is in the best interests of the patient. He says the quickest, easiest route to large scale record sharing is to put patients in the driving seat using smartphone technology. He quotes a YouGov poll which found that 85% of the population wanted any medical professional directly responsible for their treatment to have secure electronic access to key data from their GP record, such as long term conditions, medication history or allergies.[13] EMIS Web supports Summary Care Records.

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust has access to patients' GP records in the Urgent Care Centre run by Haverstock Healthcare in its A&E department using the EMIS Web integrated clinical IT system. This enables the majority of patients to be sent home with written information on self care or referred to a pharmacy.[14]

EMIS IQ supports the national General Practice Extraction Service (GPES). In March 2015 the company made an agreement to share patient data with SystmOne the second biggest supplier of GP software after IMS MAXIMS released an open source version of its software, which acute trusts can use and alter the code to tailor the system to their needs. The companies say they hope to deliver functionality to support cross-organisational working such as shared tasks and shared appointment booking. This agreement is independent of the medical interoperability gateway.[15]

Patient.info is integrated with the record systems so patients can manage their own care with an information library, health apps, online and mobile services such as GP appointment booking and repeat prescription ordering.

Ascribe is a supplier of clinical record systems for hospital pharmacy, A&E, mental health and patient administration (PAS)/electronic patient record systems (EPR). Seventy per cent of NHS secondary care organisations use an Ascribe solution.

Tracey Grainger, Head of Digital Primary Care Development at NHS England, who manages the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund in July 2015 asked the company for assistance in obtaining "extracts of de-identified patient level data from systems that either record appointments or record consultations or in some cases both" on a monthly basis back to April 2013. This included the postcode sector of the patient, the date, time and duration of appointments as well as the reason for the consultation.[16]

The company is working with Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust and Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group on two pilots that will allow users of its software to see patient records on TPP’s SystmOne and vice versa without any external software.[17]


RX Systems is a supplier of software to pharmacists. The ProScript software is a community pharmacy dispensary management system, managing the dispensary process, labelling and endorsing patient records, ordering and stock control.


  1. ^ "EMIS rebrands as EMIS Health". The Good Health Suite. 29 June 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  2. ^ "Electronic health records: the main patient record providers". Guardian. 27 April 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "EMIS buys Ascribe for £57.5m". EHealth Insider. 13 September 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "EMIS acquires majority stake in pharmacy software company Rx Systems Limited". EMIS-online (Press release). 19 August 2010. Archived from the original on March 31, 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "Digital Healthcare acquired by EMIS Group plc". Digital Healthcare. 5 August 2013. Archived from the original on March 25, 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  6. ^ "EMIS secures acquisition to help it grow". Yorkshire Post. 14 July 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "Thousands now book to see GPs on web". Health Service Journal. 11 February 2008. Retrieved 17 April 2014. (subscription required (help)). 
  8. ^ "Silver surfers seeking digital options for healthcare information". Pulse +IT. 8 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "EMIS emits a healthy glow". Investors Chronicle. 8 September 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2014. (registration required (help)). 
  10. ^ "Failure to join up medical records is a 'health risk', says GP chief inspector". Independent. 2 September 2014. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  11. ^ "Web records prove hit with patients". BBC News. 5 February 2007. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  12. ^ "GPs restricting patients' access to online records". Pulse. 25 September 2014. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  13. ^ O'Hanlon, Shaun (24 November 2014). "Data sharing: step out of the technological dark ages". Health Service Journal. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  14. ^ "GP records at A&E means only 10% of patients sent on to main emergency department". The Good Health Suite. 6 July 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015. 
  15. ^ "Major general practice software suppliers agree to share patient data". Health Service Journal. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2015. (subscription required (help)). 
  16. ^ "Privacy storm over GP visits: NHS official demands details of millions of confidential appointments". Daily Mail. 20 July 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  17. ^ "Record sharing: TPP and Emis integrate". Digital Health. 21 October 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 

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