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EMIS may have to pay millions due to GP reporting failures

EMIS has admitted it may have to pay millions in penalties after it discovered ‘a failure’ to meet service levels and reporting obligations for its web service, used by more than half the GPs in England.

The Emis Group said it was working with NHS Digital to discover the extent of the problems with Emis Web, but stressed that ‘neither patient safety nor patient data’ was put at risk.

It said it found ‘lower level usability issues’ in three service areas, including patients getting ‘multiple copies’ of texts reminding them about appointments and issues around clicking on documents.

The issue came to light ‘following a review of customer and product support processes’ by new CEO Andy Thorburn and ‘identified that there has been a failure to meet certain service levels and reporting obligations with NHS Digital, relating to the Group’s EMIS Web product for GPs in England.’

EMIS may have pay the Department of Health and Social Care a penalty under the GP Systems of Choice Contract (GPSoC) for missing service level targets.

Mr Thorburn told investors: ‘These findings have been fully disclosed to NHS Digital, having only very recently come to the Board’s attention.

‘We are currently working in collaboration with NHS Digital to confirm the scale of the issue and assess the full service and contractual impact; however, we confirm that neither patient safety nor patient data has been put at risk as a result of this issue.’

He said: ‘It is too early to quantify precisely the financial impact of this issue but in light of the current position, our estimate is that this will be in the order of upper single digits of millions of pounds.’

An NHS Digital spokesperson said: ‘Our immediate priority was to assess the extent of any clinical safety considerations. Our specialist clinical safety team has concluded this assessment and there is no evidence that public safety or patient data has been put at risk as a result of this issue. We are also working collaboratively with EMIS Group to confirm the scale of the issue and assess the full service and contractual impact on them.’

Reports on the quality of service are compiled monthly and failure to meet agreed service levels lead to a financial penalty, said NHS Digital.

Readers' comments (10)

  • Can't hold a candle to systmone

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  • Knowledge is Porridge

    They are all crap and dated. How about a web browser based product, usable from phone, tablet, desktop. The whole windows PC lock-in needs moving out. The backend database stuff is just off the shelf cheap technology.
    I fully acknowledge my plans for a clean, simple product would probably end up being just as rubbish with a load of pop up warnings and interruptions after it went through a few committee's. But Google docs on desktop and phone apps keeps me dreaming!

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  • All the systems were designed to harvest data to sell, the data is crap the systems are crap another own goal by HMG.

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  • To 8:46 - you are wrong. VAMP (an ancestor of Vision) and Meditel were given free to GP s with a business model of selling data. EMIS came along a few years later and seemed to have a hopeless proposition in that most practices were already computerised and you had to pay for everything. (Absolutely no NHS subsidy) and yet with the brilliance of their product compared to the opposition are today the number one provider. Personally I think EMIS is great.

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  • Ex-GP

    EMIS LV was better and quicker from a simple data entry perspective. It was also considerably more stable than the current EMIS web version, which frequently ‘hangs’ for no apparent reason mid consultation and goes down for half an hour inexplicably about once a month for ‘technical reasons’ mid morning surgery. EMIS LV rarely did that in my experience. It didn’t look great but it worked and it was super quick.

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  • It sounds like the problem was not enough reports of problems with EMIS. Isn't that the sign of a good system? I loved it. at least it was capable of correctly coding drugs, allergies, diagnoses, etc, UNLIKE some other systems that I probably should not mention by name, which are just NOT safe for patients!

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  • Siraj Shah

    GP has to submit a claim for every item of service is just a symptom of underlying carcinomatous growth that has invaded the NHS. Everything we do is controlled and micromanaged but as a profession we and our leaders have to accept the responsibility for this situation.

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  • knowledge is Porridge
    Have you looked at Anywhere from Vision? iPhone, Android, pads, windows 10, windows surface, desktop.

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  • Reported ore than 70 crashes of EMIS Web 2 years ago and when fed up informed MPS of the risk. The result - My indemnity went up and when I wanted to move Providers, it figured as a 'Case' in my indemnity history !! When reporting to them I was hoping to get some support as CCGs gave a damn to this issue and there was no IT or Emis support for almost a year. Will EMIS pay me or others like me who may have sought help for the raised premiums??? I doubt it. The payments will go for the blind and deaf CCG and NHSE bosses who can't be bothered about patient safety.

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  • Emis and SysOne and light years ahead of the very dated and limited software for GPs down under. Its like stepping back 10 years. What I'd give for Emis in Oz

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