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Once shared, event information can be seen at the point of care by authorised healthcare professionals, making information more easily available, improving communication, the patient journey and patient care.
NEMS works with other interoperability services including the National Record Locator which allows authorised users to find specific patient records that are held on different health care systems.
A patient event is a thing that happens or takes place, especially one of importance. Examples of events in the real world include:
- admittance to hospital
- being born
- discharge from hospital
- change of GP
- emergency care attendance
- change of address
An event is triggered by an activity that has occurred in a healthcare service.
How the NEMS works
The NEMS has been designed to allow healthcare professionals to share information without needing to know who would like to receive that information. The healthcare providers which send information are known as publishers and send the information as event messages to NEMS.
The healthcare professionals that receive the information are known as subscribers and tell the NEMS what information they would like to receive by asking for different types of event messages. Each type of event message contains different information. A healthcare professional asking for an event message creates a NEMS subscription.
Subscribers will generally be healthcare professionals but could include patients.
When the NEMS is sent an event message from a publisher, it sends the event message to all those subscribing to the event.
An authorised healthcare professional can subscribe to events about patients by:
- asking for events about all patients that live in a specific area - for example, based on the patient's postcode or the postcode of the patient's registered GP
- asking for events about a specific patient, using their NHS number to identify them
The criteria a health and care professional uses to ask for event messages will be chosen based on what patients they are responsible for in an area and which patients they have a legitimate relationship with.
An example of NEMS in practice
When the Personal Demographics Service (PDS) is updated with a baby's birth, a birth notification event containing information about the birth is sent to the NEMS. The healthcare professional recording the birth in PDS does not know which healthcare professionals are interested in the information, but the design of the NEMS means that doesn't need to be known as NEMS will share with the subscribers.
When the NEMS receives the birth notification event it looks to see which healthcare professionals have asked to receive birth notification events and sends the event to them.
The process is similar for all event messages sent to the NEMS. The only difference will be who publishes the event message to the NEMS and who has subscribed to receive the event.
Current NEMS activity
NEMS went live as a private beta in April 2019. The live events are:
- change of address
- change of GP
- new born hearing
- new born bloodspot
- new born infant physical examination
- professional contact
For further information please contact the team.
The NEMS Controller Catalogue documents the events and the health and care organisations authorised to share information as events using the NEMS.
Information and tools to help developers create software for health and social care. Find out more about implementing NEMS on the Events Management pages of the API Hub.