GPs win Connecting for Health Award for e-Innovation with Technology from iPLATO and EMIS

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A London GP practice has won a prestigious award for e-innovation from Connecting for Health, using technology from iPLATO and EMIS that reduces 'missed' patient appointments and could eventually save the NHS millions of pounds a year.

Dr Masterton and partners, who practice in Lambeth, south London were recognised as leaders in primary health care innovation with the award from the Connecting for Health Informatics Accolade Scheme, at a joint national conference with the Association of ICT Professionals in Health and Social Care, in Leeds. The surgery uses iPLATO Patient Care Messaging integrated with EMIS to achieve remarkable increases in appointment attendance and patient response to health information campaigns, for example, flu-jabs.

The Connecting for Health Informatics Accolade Scheme began three years ago with the aim of highlighting best practice in informatics. The theme for 2006 was "The Clinical and Informatics Partnership", recognising the efforts of front-line staff and IT teams in enhancing patient care. Dr Masterton and partners were the only primary care innovators among five NHS organisations recognised in the awards this year.

"Recent research from the Imperial College in London suggests that the NHS in England could save between £240 - £370 million per year simply by reminding patients about their appointments via text. We hope to show how this theory can be delivered in practice", commented Dr Jackie Masterton, senior partner at the surgery. "iPLATO Patient Care Messaging enables us to send appointment reminders and notify patients about upcoming clinics. We have found the accredited integration between Patient Care Messaging and our GP system from EMIS vital for delivering these results."

Adrian James-Morse, surgery IT Manager who implemented the system, said: "The success of the system is due its 'non-intrusive' nature on existing booking procedures used by surgeries and its benefits to the GP; both to increase practice revenue and enhance operational efficiency. It is evident from the success of this pilot that the PCM will be standard protocol in bookings for all surgeries within the next three years".

Sean Riddell, Deputy Managing Director at EMIS, said: "It is fantastic news that an EMIS practice using iPLATO has received a Connecting for Health award. This highlights that GP surgeries can improve patient services through smart IT solutions delivered outside the Connecting for health programme – but now with its blessing."

Tobias Alpsten, Managing Director of iPLATO said: "The success of Patient Care Messaging in Lambeth PCT is yet another example of the power of mobile technology; we would like to congratulate Dr Masterson and Partners on their award. In the same breath we would like to thank EMIS for their support in getting Patient Care Messaging officially accredited and supported. We hope to share Dr Masterton and Partners’ experiences with a broader audience."


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Tobias Alpsten
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