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Care record set for surge as it becomes EMIS-compatible

By Ian Quinn

NHS IT chiefs are predicting a huge upsurge in the use of the Summary Care Record after finally making the system compatible with EMIS - by far the biggest provider of GP computer systems.

Connecting for Health announced it is now able to allow practices using the EMIS LV system, amounting to nearly half of those in the country, to link with the record.

Until now EMIS's links with the programme have been limited to a just one pilot site in South Birmingham but Dorset and Somerset have now also gone live. An announcement is expected soon that practices in London - 80% of which use EMIS - will join the programme.

SCR clinical director Dr Gillian Braunold said the breakthrough meant Connecting for Health had ‘now got all our ducks in a row', with other IT providers already on board, meaning in total nearly 70% of practices have the potential to start using the record.

But Dr Braunold admitted she was having to lobby the Conservative party hard, to counter its plans to bypass Connecting for Health and allow companies like Google to take on the SCR.

‘Before the Tory government throws it away, I'm sure they will want to look at all the benefits in provides. I'm sure the public accounts committee would have something to say.'

She added the NHS was also planning to launch a big new campaign to publicise the care record to patients, including, she said, making clear their rights to opt out.

There are currently 360,000 patients with Summary Care Records, with 60% of GP practices now capable of linking with the programme.

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