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Pharmacies forced to revert to paper system in PharmOutcomes outage

EMIS Group acquired PharmOutcomes last year
EMIS Group acquired PharmOutcomes last year

PharmOutcomes and Outcomes4Health were both “unavailable” due to a “third-party network outage” until 7am this morning, NHS Digital has told C+D.

The outage started at 1.30pm yesterday (June 21), an NHS Digital spokesperson told C+D today (June 22).

Pharmacists told C+D they had to revert to a paper system while the platforms were down.

Martin Bennett, superintendent at Wicker Pharmacy in Sheffield, South Yorkshire said his pharmacy adopted a paper system and will have to spend today entering the information recorded manually on Outcomes4Health.

Festina Islami, manager of an Asda pharmacy in Luton, Bedfordshire, said that her main concern was “not being able to provide patient group direction (PGD) services, such as period delay and emergency hormonal contraception through PharmOutcomes”.

Ms Islami, who also works as clinical lead at the Asda vaccination site in Watford, told C+D that the vaccination team uses Outcomes4Health to enter patient information, but they had to use paper to manually record vaccination data yesterday.

However, NHS Digital stressed to C+D yesterday that “vaccinations remain unaffected and will continue to be recorded. People should continue to turn up for their appointments as they usually would”.

Working to urgently restore the services

An EMIS Group spokesperson told C+D yesterday that it was “aware that Outcomes4Health and PharmOutcomes were unavailable” and it was “working with our supplier to urgently restore services”.

Healthcare software and systems provider EMIS Group acquired the businesses that own and operate PharmOutcomes – Pinnacle Health Partnership and Pinnacle Systems Management – in March last year.

The company estimated last year that around 11,000 community pharmacies use its PharmOutcomes system.

An NHS Digital spokesperson told C+D that it was also aware of the outage and “work was underway to resolve it”.

Pharmacists were left unable to use the systems for around 17 hours.

2 Comments
Question: 
Does your pharmacy use either PharmOutcomes or Outcomes4Health?

Ashley Cohen, Community pharmacist

This will cause extra workload (I assume not re-imbursed) as teams will then have to spend another day after vaccination clinics inputting the data onto Pinacle. 

 

Oliver Staunton, Information Technology

Not great, there should be backup options available for situations like this.

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