There are only three more available dates on which EMIS will enable patient access to records on behalf of practices, NHS England has warned.
As part of the updated GP contract, NHSE told GP practices in March that they will need to offer automatic access to prospective patient records via the NHS app by 31 October 2023.
In its latest primary care bulletin, NHSE urged EMIS practices to complete an ‘opt-in form’ in order to have records access enabled automatically before the deadline.
On this form, practices can select one of three more available dates for EMIS to update access rights on their behalf.
NHSE said: ‘If EMIS practices do not take advantage of these enablement dates, then they will have to enable patient access manually.’
But NHSE was forced to abandon its plans following concerns about patient data safeguarding. It has since been pursuing a phased rollout of the records access programme.
In its March contract letter, the national commissioner said there were 1,400 practices offering access at the time, covering 6.5 million patients.
And a London ICB then expressly advised GP practices not to switch on automatic patient access ahead of the 31 October deadline, instead advising they switch it on only for patients who specifically request access.
Meanwhile, a Government review published earlier this year recommended that patients have greater access to their NHS record, including checking their position on waiting lists and removing themselves.
GPs have reported various issues with EMIS software recently, with an ‘embarrassing’ failure last week that meant practices in North East London were unable to print off pathology forms for hours, and a ‘catastrophic’ outage at the end of May that left practices all over the country unable to provide care for hours.
Pulse’s recent analysis of frequent IT faults in general practice looked at the effects on patient safety and GP workload.