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New GP IT system developed for polyclinics

By Steve Nowottny

Three of the country's leading primary care IT suppliers are to develop a new integrated system designed specifically for the national polyclinic rollout.

EMIS, INPS and out-of-hours IT supplier Adastra have already begun work on the new system, which will build on the components and data of all three existing systems, and allow full interoperability with partner products.

The new system will be targeted at the 150 GP-led health centres being developed across the country, and will be launched ahead of the April 2009 deadline for the opening of the new centres.

The suppliers stressed the new system will be ‘compatible with, and complementary to' the Summary Care Record.

Sean Riddell, Healthcare Managing Director of EMIS, hailed the development as a ‘landmark project which will combine the benefits and expertise of three, best-of-breed clinical and operational healthcare IT systems.'

And GP users also backed the plans. Dr Charlie Stuart-Buttle, chair of the EMIS National User Group and a GP in Tonbridge, Kent, said the project reflected ‘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,' he said.

Meanwhile in a separate development EMIS – which covers more than half of all GP practices - announced last week that it is offering patient record access online to all practices free of charge as part of a nationwide trial.

EMIS' Online Electronic Health Records Access system allows patients to view their records and letters, results and immunisations using authenticated access, which is strictly controlled by individual passwords and PINs.

Connecting for Health's similar Healthspace project is currently being trialled in a number of early adopter areas alongside the Summary Care Record.

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