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EMIS systems outage causes ‘nightmare’ for GPs

EMIS has apologised to nearly 800 GP practices who lost access to their electronic patient care records last week, following a series of server failures.

Over half of GP surgeries across the UK use EMIS to host essential computer services, but at 8:25 on Thursday last week, EMIS suffered a series of server failures which caused the system to crash at 333 GP practices. Later on in the morning a further 446 practices were hit.

Over four hours after the original outage, some practices started to regain normal functionality. There were no reports of any practices losing data.

Dr Peter Swinyard, a GP in Swindon and chair of the Family Doctors Association tweeted his frustration at the system failure. He said: ‘PCS hosted systems all down from 08:25 to 14:00. A positive and reliable contribution to patient care?? No - a nightmare!'

EMIS say they have launched a joint investigation with Connecting for Health at the DH to find out what caused the issues and prevent a reoccurrence.

A spokesperson for EMIS said: ‘Our first priority at EMIS is and always has been our users and their patients. We recognise the vital role that EMIS systems plays in the efficient running of GP practices, and we apologise to affected users for this regrettable disruption to service.'