EMIS clinical systems are used by over 5,000 healthcare organizations across the United Kingdom, from Primary Care and out-of-hours services, to community care and sexual health services. By using the same system, everyone can access the same information about their patients - no matter where they are treated - making the prospect of integrated care a reality. With over 25 years experience of working with the NHS, EMIS are entrusted with over 40 million patient records.1  

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Egton Medical Information Systems (EMIS) began in the 1980s in a rural practice in Egton in North Yorkshire, United Kingdom. The founders, Dr Peter Sowerby and Dr David Stables, wrote the software and adopted the NHS Read Code system during the 1980s. A series of systems have since been deployed in over half of England's primary care practices. The latest product (EMIS Web) moved to a data center based architecture, thin client front end and built in secure web based patient access facilities.

EMIS software looks after the patient records of nearly 40 million people in the UK (30 million using EMIS Web). More than 2 in 3 of those patients can book appointments and order repeat medications online, and more than 1 in 3 can view their own medical record.

EMIS Web features significant advances in terminology use with EMIS adopting a phased approach to SNOMED CT. EMIS Web displays a familiar coding structure based on the construction of a Read Version 2 navigational hierarchy within SNOMED CT. The principle design objective has been to enable SNOMED CT within the clinical system to meet specific requirements, including:

  • Supporting advanced decision support capabilities;
  • Supporting interoperability within healthcare through the sharing of coded data;
  • Supporting standards required in NHS General Practice Systems of Choice (e.g. the NHS mandates SNOMED CT coding within the National Summary Care Record service);
  • Broadening the scope of terminology use to support the recording of encounters in disciplines such as dentistry and community healthcare;
  • Supporting the mandatory requirement for the Electronic Prescription Service to natively use the UK SNOMED CT drug extension (i.e. NHS dictionary of medicines and devices, dm+d).

By using coded structured records and providing access to the specialist domain terminology available in SNOMED CT, EMIS has been able to extend the user base of EMIS Web by more than 20,000 new NHS users over the last year. These include practice nurses, community matrons, child health and mental health nurses, palliative care clinicians, diabetes specialists, physiotherapists and psychologists.

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