The Welsh government has selected Egton Medical Information Systems (EMIS) and INPS, part of Cegedim, to provide managed IT services to GP surgeries across Wales.
The aim of the system is to provide better value for money across all GP clinical system services in Wales, according to Welsh minister for health and social services Lesley Griffiths.
"This new framework will enable e-referrals, where information is sent quickly, securely and is clear and consistent," said Griffiths. "Results can be emailed between consultant and general practitioner. It's more cost effective, and most importantly, safer for patients."
He added: "The choice of vendors on this framework means GPs will be able to tailor their suppliers to meet their needs following a fair and open selection process."
The new agreement will provide more robust, resilient, centrally hosted services, in accordance with the GP Clinical Systems Strategy, and will also improve service levels for the same level of expenditure as the previous framework, said Health in Wales in a statement.
The main constituents of the framework agreement are a practice software service, datacentre hardware and software, a drug database and support, maintenance and training. The new, multi-vendor framework agreement will cover:
• National coordination and management of the General Medical Services' information management and technology (IM&T) budget on behalf of Health Boards in Wales, through the adoption of the ‘Once for Wales' approach;
• A national framework agreement to support approved third-party products to deliver better value for money and interoperability;
• A new GP system framework agreement intended to improve the existing framework agreement to provide more competitive pricing, better value for money and greater flexibility in terms of the development and procurement of core and additional services.