Yesterday I attended the first day of the EMIS NUG Conference, this year held in Birmingham at the Hilton NEC. It continues today.

I thought the venue was ok though some of the sponsors felt their exhibition hall was quite a long way away from the main talks and that numbers were low.

It followed the usual format and had a range of interesting talks, of course as usual for me sometimes the 2 most interesting talks were on at the same time but they appeared to be recording the talks so if I get time I might watch/listen to the ones I missed.

There didn’t seem to be much of a theme this year and I do wonder what the main purpose of the conference is? Certainly, my needs have changed over the years and I only really found 2 of the talks really worth me taking the day out of surgery for. I might run it in a different way if I was in charge.

One of my main reasons for attending is often to see the exhibitors and see what is new.

There seemed to be a lot of telecoms people, which is a shame as while I’m sure General Practice could do with it telecoms modernising, I suspect it’s not that interested. PArtly this is because of a lack of knowledge and enthusiasm in general practice over telecoms and a reluctance to invest. Also in my area its all provided by the CSU and we don’t really get much say in it and moving away from the CSU solution would be a lot of effort so we would need a big reason too and I’m sure this is the same in other areas.

There were a lot of digital dictation and speech recognition people – we use lexacom which we are very happy with so I didn’t really get too interested.

I was intrigued by the pitch from the Epson printer people. Save toner costs, save electricity costs and quicker printing from their inkjets over traditional lasers. Now on the whole printers are paid from the CCG IT budget but their consumable costs are borne by me – so this is a clever pitch if I can influence the purchasing decisions. They promised to lend me a machine to try.. let’s see if it’s as good as they say.

Finally, the last thing that impressed me and genuinely seemed to be doing something different was Dr Raza Toosy whose Patient Leaf Product adds a completely new UI on top of EMIS. As a working GP, he gets what would really help people understand the record faster and he presents a load of interesting data in a series of dashboards which speed up reviewing the notes. We discussed creating a dashboard to use particularly when reviewing blood results (one of my bugbears) and I’m keen to work with him on this.