Why wont EMIS let me search across shared data?

Locally we are moving all community staff onto a new version of Emis community and trying to maximise the benefits of shared records.

We are going through a lengthy process of getting data sharing agreements signed between practices and the community services possibly made harder by everyone’s twitchiness over GDPR.

Once up and running patients being looked after in a care community (locality) should have full record sharing. The DNs or other therapists can record things in their notes and see ours and we can record in ours and see theirs. On the whole it works well.

There was for ages a real wish by local GPs for community staff to record in the local GP notes but I agree this is largely impracticable as community staff work in multiple practices and would need multiple logons and it would get confusing to manage them centrally. Medico legally they might have issues not having cess to their own records and in theory once given a password to the local system they could see anyone’s notes. This way they can only see the notes of those on their caseload who are sharing – much safer in many ways.

From a GPs point of view – as long as you remember to click the show me all shared records it can be very useful to see what the other clinicians have done on your shared patient. Data enter by them is marked with a special symbol to highlight it and indeed you can copy it into the local record if needs be. A big plus for EMIS is shared data is visible in their new EMIS mobile app as well as the desktop one, which is brilliant.

For certain types of patients it should in theory reduce the need for duplication of data collection a constant bug bear amongst service users.

Now here is the problem I’ve come across. I was at a palliative care meeting the other day. We hold them regularly to review people on the palliative list and how they are doing. We run a report in EMIS that lists them and the report includes relevant information in a table such as their preferred place of death, has a DS1500 been done.  This makes it easy for the team to see who needs what doing.

Now the great thing about shared records is bring up a patient’s record and it doesn’t matter who has entered the “preferred place of death” it’s there. However EMIS search wont search across shared records so it doesn’t show up!

A major flaw in my opinion. Out of the 100 pts or so we reviewed, the report was missing info on over half the patients. When we went into those patients records the data was usually there in the shared record – easily seen but not picked up by the search.

This is crazy! A simple switch in the searches module should allow all shared records linked to that patient to be shown and perhaps highlighted (the symbol already exists)

The only word I’ve had from EMIS is this functionality exists in Enterprise S&R. Well that’s another £10K+ and is a different product. My federation actually has it but you then need another 29 data sharing agreements – with multiple levels of access as for some you can see PID for some you cant.. We have about  10 staff who regularly build and run searches. We can’t be ringing up a central person who has a ES&R logon each time we want to run our own search on our own patient’s but include shared records.

Come on – Give me a box that says include shared info in searches. If EMIS mobile can see it – it can’t be that difficult!

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