Patient record viewer helping to improve care in Somerset

Over 500 Somerset clinicians now have instant access to the GP records of half a million patients in the country.

By using software from connected health provider Emis Health, clinicians providing frontline emergency have fast access to patient information that could improve care and save time.

Emergency care staff working across A&E and other acute medical units in Somerset are using the Emis Web EPR Viewer to access information in patients’ GP medical records.

The viewer gives clinicians 24-hour real-time access to primary care records held by GPs. This allows them to identify current patient medications and allergies, reduce unnecessary emergency admissions and avoid duplicate tests.

Clinicians previously relied on contacting GP practices to obtain this information, or made decisions based on the patient’s condition.

Somerset accident and emergency clinician Dr Philip Rowburrey said: “I find that access to Emis EPR Viewer saves a lot of time, particularly out of hours. I also check a patient’s recent consultations to try and establish if their presenting complaint is acute or something that has previously been investigated by primary care. It is becoming a ‘must check’ when we see a patient now and I thoroughly recommend that this continues.”

Emis Web EPR Viewer provides a read-only view of patient information. The service requires patient consent at the point of care and records who has viewed any patient’s primary care record.

Richard Greaves, the Somerset Integrated Digital electronic Record (SIDeR) interoperability programme manager for Somerset CCG said: “We recognise the value of clinicians having access to the breadth and depth of patient primary care records, which date back much further than all other digital records.

“It is best practice for clinicians to check a patient’s medical history, but it is not always something that is easy for them to do, the Emis EPR Viewer simplifies that process dramatically. Information contained in the primary care record can have a significant impact on how the patient is treated in any care setting.”

Duane Lawrence, managing director at Emis Health, said: “Somerset is a progressive county, breaking new ground in demonstrating the benefits of consensual data sharing.

“It was a privilege for Emis Health to support them in achieving their goal of putting vital information within easy reach of clinicians delivering frontline medical care. We now look forward to supporting Somerset in the next phase of this deployment and would be delighted to share our insight from this project.”

Plans to roll out the viewer to all clinically-led and clinically-regulated services within Somerset have been arranged to begin from summer 2017

Reece Armstrong is a reporter for Digital Health Age. Coming from the North East of England, Reece has an MA in Media & Journalism and a BA in Popular & Contemporary Music from Newcastle University. Reach him on Twitter or email via:

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