This site is intended for health professionals only


Breaking up is hard to do: why we’re switching from EMIS to SystmOne



Throughout our lives there are times when we have to make difficult decisions and sometimes have to make the choice whether to continue in a long term relationship or make the break and move on.

As the Neil Sedaka song goes, Breaking Up Is Hard To Do and despite all best efforts, guilty feelings pervade

Much like the song, the final conversation about switching systems was only two minutes and 16 seconds long. Now don’t get me wrong, this was not an impulsive decision. In fact we had been talking about it for almost four years (some might say we were dragging our feet, but at my practice we like to mull over things a bit). But at a recent practice meeting after our final brief discussion, we decided to end our 16-year relationship with EMIS and sign up to TPP SystemOne.

So why the change?

Despite GP Systems of Choice (GPSoC) we had been under considerable pressure for some time to change. We had plans to migrate from EMIS LV to EMIS Web this year, safe in the knowledge GPSoC allowed us to do this despite all our locality practices being with SystmOne.

As time went by, however. it was increasingly obvious both we and our patients were being disadvantaged as our out-of-hours provider, district nurses, diabetic clinic and even the local A&E department were either using or had access to SystmOne patient records.

We found ourselves out on a limb and despite the promise of interoperability this was way too far in the future to be of any practical value.  Other practices had immediate access to what was happening to their patients and we had to rely on faxed forms, and not everyone was even filling those in.

The sad fact is if ‘interoperability’ were a fact rather than a distant pipe dream, with GPSoC we could have stayed with EMIS and gone with EMIS Web.

So, we have made our choice and we hope to build a new relationship with SystmOne, and we hope the relationship will be as positive as the one with EMIS has been. I’ll keep you updated how the changeover goes.

Dr Hadrian Moss is a GP in Kettering, Northamptonshire. You can tweet him at @DrHMoss.