GPs using CSC products should be absolutely clear about the functionality they will get from another system before they decide to switch, says iSoft user group chairman Dr John Lockley.
Late last month, CSC (formerly iSoft) confirmed it is withdrawing Synergy, Premiere and Ganymede from the primary care market, but said it will support the products for at least another year.
The iSUG annual conference - held this Thursday and Friday - has attracted a huge response and will be "stuffed to the gunnels", Dr Lockley told eHealth Insider.
He said it will effectively be a "beauty parade for other suppliers”, along with discussions about the best way to move from one system to another.
Dr Lockley emphasised that users should ensure they know exactly what alternative systems can and cannot do before switching and should not assume that functionality they had previously will be available.
"There will be a lot of people who will be really quite disturbed that what they thought would be able to be done won’t actually be able to be done," he added.
Dr Lockley believed that in some areas, practices will come under pressure from their PCT or CCG to switch to a particular system, but said it is the GP's right to choose what they want.
"We are there to help our users to make the choice that’s right for them. I am not going to tell people which system I might or might not be moving to, I have to appear absolutely neutral," he said.
Dr Lockley has resigned as an external medical consultant to CSC due to a "conflict of interest". He explained that because CSC has a "loose commercial tie" to another primary care supplier, TPP, it would be inappropriate for the chairman of the iSUG to continue to work as a consultant.
"The users need to know that I’m absolutely totally and entirely impartial and will be totally impartial during the conference," he said.
Dr Lockley said users could see the day coming when support for CSC's GP products would be withdrawn, but had hoped it would be later rather than sooner.
"I will be saying at the conference that the user group has been warning the company - whether Torex, iSoft or CSC for the past ten years that things were starting to be difficult and user confidence and PCT confidence was not as high as perhaps it could be," he explained.
By the time CSC took over the products, they had a much smaller user base than enjoyed previously and it became difficult to reverse the decline.
Despite all the warning signs, Dr Lockley said confirmation that the products would be pulled from the market was like a bereavement.
"I’m so sorry to see Synergy go down, I think it’s the best presentation of the patient information that the clinician wants and needs.”
Dr Lockley said the remaining Synergy users tend to be the "hard core or super users", which makes it harder to switch systems.
© 2012 EHealth Media.
Register: To add a comment you must be registered.
EHealthInsider: EHI Engage - Innovation. Integration. Inspiration. http://t.co/lSiRJ38xiq
2 days 15 hours 1 minute ago