Many of our customers will be aware that NHS Digital has recently written to users of MIQUEST to update them on the future of the software. This follows a consultation exercise undertaken by NHS Digital with users of MIQUEST to ascertain their views on the future of the software. The consultation was required as MIQUEST is not currently compatible with SNOMED CT and a significant amount of work would be required to update the enquirer and interpreter elements of the software.
NHS Digital has announced that they will not be undertaking any future development work on MIQUEST and have advised that organisations should plan to transition away from MIQUEST by April 2018.
MIQUEST will continue to operate until the end of the current arrangements for GP Systems of Choice (GPSoC) in December 2018. Although NHS Digital has stated that during this period MIQUEST will operate with limitations, we are confident that our existing quality improvement tools will continue to work successfully. We acknowledge that because new clinical concepts will only be added to SNOMED CT and dm+d, there will be limitations placed on what MIQUEST can extract. However, since we do not expect to make any significant alterations to the tools in the near future, we are confident they will remain stable during this transitional period.
NHS Digital have said that the decision not to undertake any future development of MIQUEST is partially owing to the requirement for increasing levels of information governance for data sharing and dissemination, as well as the need for all information systems to cater for patient preferences. Customers with experience of using MIQUEST will appreciate that the tool is designed with robust, inbuilt safeguards to protect patient data, enabling the reporting and sharing of patient data while protecting an individual’s right to privacy. With reference to the catering for patient preferences, this is entirely dependent on whether they have been captured and coded in the patient record, which is as relevant to any data extraction routine as it is to MIQUEST.
We fundamentally believe there should be a standardised method for data extraction across all disparate GP IT systems, facilitating real time access to primary care data at minimum cost to NHS organisations and the research community.
In readiness of the potential end of MIQUEST, we have been exploring alternative ways to extract data from primary care. In May, our customers welcomed the latest version of CHART that can take an output from EMIS Web and over the next few weeks, we will release EMIS Web versions of our quality improvement tools. This is an exciting first step for PRIMIS that will eventually see us use a variety of different data extraction methods to suit the needs and requirements of customers and sponsors of our audit tools (including solutions for customers using clinical information systems other than EMIS Web). Our tools are flexible and can be deployed on locally developed data warehouses and solutions. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to explore the options. We will continue to service MIQUEST versions of our tools for the foreseeable future.
Our clinical advisory and development teams have undergone intensive training programmes in SNOMED CT and we have already produced data extraction specifications in SNOMED CT on behalf of our national partners.
The team here at PRIMIS remains passionate about the quality and accessibility of primary care data and will continue to produce highly effective and practical solutions to help people access, understand and use patient data held on GP IT systems.
NHS Digital letter to MIQUEST users
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