The most efficient paperless solution to distributed community data collation and interpretation.

The Primary Health Solution (which is also referred to as simply Primary Health) is a distributed software system designed to facilitate community data collation from multiple points within an area, together with processing and interpretation (creating a report, for example) at the opposite end.


In the current situation where pharmacies are being asked to provide extra services to their communities, in an effort to balance the load of the GP out a little, new systems will be required to handle the information about medicines, patients, dispensing and so on. Where traditionally paper-based systems would be used Primary Health provides an ideal paperless (i.e. computerised) solution that completely automates collation, updating and reporting of the data it produces.

Our custom-written software products handle the entire system, providing an easy-to-use, consistent interface to the information beneath. This approach not only eliminates the requirement for many man-hours spent updating and searching the data manually but also dramatically reduces errors by eliminating the usual 'copy errors' that occur with paperwork.

The Primary Health System

The Primary Health Solution is a managed-software system designed to automate much of the administration and paperwork involved with running medium-or-large-scale distributed public-access system. Primary Health eradicates the copy errors and typographical errors that occur with paper-based systems, while at the same time making the whole scheme more efficient, easier to administer, and more cost-effective. Using the Primary Health managed software solution could save your organisation hundreds of thousands of pounds.

At the most basic level, Primary Health consists of three software applications, each designed to be used as a 'link in the chain' of the system.

Primary Health Manager is used to administer and report from the data generated by the pharmacies or other access-points in your area.

Primary Health Clinician is used wherever the public will access the scheme and data will be entered.

These applications together with the various libraries and protocols make up the Primary Health System.

For more information about the Primary Health System, including a discussion of it's design architecture, see our Technology White Papers section.

Primary Health Manager

Primary Health Manager is the administrative focal-point of the Primary Health Solution. Using Primary Health Manager a PCT or other central authority (with appropriate access permissions) can manage every aspect of the system, including querying & reporting from the data.

With a full range of configurable reports, central customisation of various configuration parameters for the central data store, and per-pharmacy control of the installed access-points in your area, Primary Health Manager gives the controlling Care Trust or other authoratative body total control and 100% accountability over the entire Primary Health Solution.

In common with the rest of Primary Health, Manager is totally configurable to suit your needs, offering one-click access to any number of pre-designed reports and forms, each of which is completely customisable.

[Primary Health Manager]

Primary Health Clinician

The front-end to the Primary Health solution is Primary Health Clinician, the software application which runs on the PC at the pharmacy. Almost all pharmacies now have a PC handling their orders, and we have designed Primary Health to be as versatile as possible with respect to system requirements. In fact, as long as the system has Microsoft® Windows® 95, 32Mb RAM, and a 100MHz Pentium processor, Primary Health is completely compatible.

The Clinician interface has been designed so as to appear familiar to users of current dispensary software, so that most pharmacists find the software has a very shallow (and in some places non-existent) learning curve.

As a commercial software application, Primary Health has a modern user interface designed to be easy to learn and quick to master. We provide full technical support facilities as part of our standard licence agreement.

Clinician is the front-end application to the powerful Primary Health Forms Engine (PHForms). This XML-based forms distribution and retrieval engine is the backbone of the Primary Health Solution, providing a highly scalable, extensible platform upon which extra modules are built.

PHForms is based on a two-tier client/server model, with a local server that runs continuously in the background and a renderer accessing this as required. Primary Health uses secure communications over TCP/IP and is thus highly scalable, from client and server on one machine to each server serving the same forms to many clients, in a large chain with a live WAN, for example.

You can find a white paper outlining the PHForms Engine here. A more in-depth discussion of PHForms, including information about it's interface to the system, is available in the PHForms Module Interface Specification.

Security Considerations

Information is the 'currency of the 21st century', and of course security of that information is of paramount importance. Primary Health has been developed from the ground up to take full advantage of the latest in security and encryption technologies to ensure that our system and the data within are as secure as it is possible to be. We are experts in computer security technologies and have applied that knowledge to the Primary Health package to ensure that it is, and will remain, as secure as possible.

All encryption is handled using 128-bit RSA algorithms, with data being authenticated using PGP-style Public Key Encryption systems. When data is transmitted to or from our central servers we use secure networking protocols and point-to-point IP tunnelling to ensure security, and all local information is secured not only with encryption but also with our proprietry DoubleBarrel™ Encryption technology.

The Primary Health Security Overview white paper has a more in-depth discussion of security technologies and how they relate to Primary Health.

Future Expansion

Primary Health is designed as a scalable, extensible solution. The design is based around a modular approach, with a view to adding features in response to feedback from PCTs and pharmacists.

The Forms Engine used is proprietry to Primary Health Ltd, having been designed specifically for the challenges of this particular project. The design of that engine allows us to add new forms (equivalent to new tabs on the Primary Health screen) as new schemes are rolled out in individual areas, as is described in more detail above. We work closely with all Care Trusts and other authorities who use Primary Health to ensure that the forms deployed in their area suit their requirements as well as possible.

In addition to this, both the front-end, or user interface, and the back-end database system are designed to allow us a high level of flexibility with future changes and additions.

Information at your fingertips

Primary Health is not just a software application aimed at solving a specific problem. Rather, it is a complete system designed to simplify the management of these schemes dramatically. All points in the information chain have been addressed, from the pharmacist at one end, seeing patients and actually entering data, via the Primary Health Reporting System to the PCT at the other end of the chain, accessing and using the information in whatever form they choose.

The Primary Health Reporting System collates the raw data from individual pharmacies and gives that data context, thus creating information. This information can then be viewed and printed in the form of a customisable report. This is all handled through a user-friendly, intuitive interface.

The future

As mentioned above, Primary Health is designed with growth in mind. It may be possible in future version to take the Shared Patient Record idea one step further, integrating with existing PMR software to ensure that only one patient record is needed for all systems. This is just one possibility - there is almost no limit to the scalability of Primary Health.

Primary Health runs on the Microsoft® Windows® platform, and requires a Pentium® PC with 16MB RAM and Windows 95. Whilst this specification represents a fairly old PC, many pharmacies do not have up to date equipment on which to run Primary Health. Obviously where more powerful equipment is available Primary Health takes full advantage by dynamically enabling certain features to suit the underlying hardware and operating system.

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