Duane Lawrence

Three ways technology is helping to improve patient outcomes

Duane Lawrence, managing director of EMIS Health secondary care highlights three ways in which EMIS technology is working for better patient outcomes

Through interoperability

Universal interoperability is the dream for anyone using technology, and nowhere more so than in the health sector.

At home, it means your iPhone can “talk” to your television, and that the laptop you carry around with you is compatible with the desktop computer in the office. While this is increasingly important in all walks of life, in healthcare it is absolutely vital. With so much valuable clinical information available, secure data sharing enables us to drastically improve patient outcomes and make life a little easier for pressured healthcare professionals.

Happily, the days when one piece of clinical software or system cannot “speak” to another are numbered. EMIS Health has signed agreements with other clinical system providers that should make it much easier in future for full interoperability across systems and settings.

An Open API protocol – giving developers the interface they need to be able to work on applications that can bring new capabilities to EMIS Health products and services – is another great leap forward. At EMIS Health, we’re already working towards the goal of universal system interoperability and I’m confident that it will be the norm one day soon.

By providing patient access to the healthcare journey

Giving patients the tools to influence their own healthcare journey is of equal importance. I’m proud that EMIS Health is behind a number of initiatives that are already putting patients in the driving seat. Patients registered with their GP surgery to use the Patient Access app and website can now interact with the primary care clinicians caring for them like never before.

As well as booking appointments and accessing test results, the Patient Access service now enables patients to access their detailed GP medical record online. The new Share Your Record functionality within Patient Access has been described as a “game changer” and rightly so. For the first time, it means that patients meeting a healthcare professional in any setting can provide them with a secure link to view their GP medical record.

For patients, it means the added security of knowing that the healthcare professional caring for them is up to speed with their medical history. It means no more having to remember important medical details and repeat them every time that a new consultant, nurse or doctor is encountered.

For healthcare professionals, it means having information at their fingertips that will help them to make the best possible decisions about patient care.

Through precision medicine

The potential for precision medicine to become a routine part of the way in which we care for people is what really excites me about interoperability and tools to enable ‘citizen health’. By taking into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person, it should be perfectly possible to harness technology in a way that will provide bespoke healthcare for all.

The Personal Health Record available to Apple HealthKit users through the Patient Access app proves an appetite for the empowerment that citizen health can bring. People are already using it to monitor their own asthma, diabetes and blood pressure. New sources of invaluable health information are coming on stream all the time. The challenge we face is ensuring that health professionals in any setting are able to utilise that information for the good of their patients. EMIS Health is better placed than any other organisation to make that happen as the UK’s leading provider of clinical software and services.

We have an incredible opportunity to provide the IT tools for clinicians to care for patients across health economies in an integrated and cohesive manner. We have an obligation to healthcare providers to find intuitive and easy-to-implement technology to improve the way our loved ones are cared for. Every step towards integrated, patient-centred care helps improve the overall health of the nation.


Dave is the Editor of Med-Tech Innovation magazine. He also holds the position of Deputy Group Editor for the Rapid Life Sciences portfolio. You can reach Dave via his email - david.g@rapidnews.com


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