NextGen is one of the nation's largest providers of medical software and is used by over 60,000 providers. They offer several different products to help practices and hospitals manage the financial, administrative, and clinical components of their businesses. NextGen has won many awards since their start in 1973, including repeated rankings on Forbes and BusinessWeek "top companies" lists. For example, in 2010 they were ranked #22 on Forbes Best 200 Small Companies in America.
NextGen Ambulatory EHR has received 2011/2012 CCHIT certification, as well as the important ONC-ATCB certification. This is required for physicians that want to receive Meaningful Use incentives outlined in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). EHR software companies must meet a long list of feature and functional requirements to receive these certifications. So, pardon the jargon, but NextGen's Ambulatory EHR is a feature-rich system. It provides coding optimization and compliance (i.e. E&M coding advice), ePrescribing, lab integration, image management, and more.
NextGen Practice Management helps providers manage the financial and administrative aspects of their offices. It helps practices manage patient appointments, submit claims to payers and clearinghouses, verify patient eligibility, and more.
NextGen is designed for medium and large practices with 2 or more physicians, and is ideal for a few specialties, namely cardiology, ophthalmology and community health centers. In addition to their EHR and practice management system, NextGen offers revenue cycle management, health information exchange, and patient portal applications. They also provide EDI services and offer off-site data protection.
Amy from Covenant
Specialty: Family medicine
Portfolio size: 101 or more users
Nothing. It does not flow; the charting system is for billers, not physicians. It's labor intensive. The vendor does not respond to issues or problems.
It's not for doctors. It's just for billers and insurance. I am not a coder!
There are far superior systems that are much easier to use.
Karen from CHLA
Portfolio size: 101 or more users
I like that it can remember favorite medications, and overall, I find it decent for e-scripting prescriptions to pharmacies.
This has a ridiculous interface, which is not intuitive and requires a ton of redundant clicking to complete tasks. It certainly interferes with the workflow of a proper patient encounter, and is not efficient at all. For example, to order the vaccines that I order for every single 12-month well-child check encounter, I must click on the screen 14 times in different places, and wait for the frustrating 1-2 second pause in between each click. Plenty of other EMRs allow you to customize a visit so that for every 12-month old WCC, those orders either automatically appear or are grouped together so you can click through easily. It's not easy to review a patient's history of visits in a simple and clear fashion. It freezes frequently. Each upgrade creates new glitches and problems and inevitably leads to the loss of certain functions which didn't need to be removed (I've been through 3 "upgrades" at this time). Also, it is unable to link up with any of our hospital-based EMRs, so I can't view my patient's subspecialty clinic reports (even though they're seen at the same hospital), or the radiology or labwork that they've done with us.
My experience is to stay far away from this software. I can understand why a large corporate health system would like it, as it allows you to collect plenty of data and is quite powerful, but for actual physicians or other healthcare providers (especially pediatrics), it's awful. There is way too much redundant clicking and a very low amount of personalization allowed. Each upgrade creates multiple new glitches which take months to resolve. I say this as a pediatrician who has worked in 4 other settings with EMRs (and did my entire residency with an EMR), and in general I love EMRs far more than paper charts. But I have been using this system for 1.5 years, and despite gaining a relative mastery of it, I truly do not like it. I think it has seriously contributed to my level of burnout and is one of the factors that has made me decide to leave my current job. My new practice will be using a pediatric-specific EMR, which looks like a fantastic option.
Mona from Family Practice Associates
Date: September 2013
I am a nurse in a family practice, and using NextGen is my first experience in EHR. I was hired about a year after the system was installed, and replaced a nurse who retired because she just couldn't get used to the new EHR way of documenting. The other staff has told me that start up went fairly smoothly and that staff was available onsite for questions the first few days they were up and running, which was very helpful.
I do not feel that NextGen is hard to navigate. I was able to use the program on my own with very little help after only a weeks training, although there are many features that I am still discovering after 2.5 years of working with NextGen. My main complaint is its organizational layouts. The retrieval of information is my biggest challenge. I find it very difficult to find specific consult notes form specialists. Instead of notes categorized by specialty and date, they are only organized by date. I must sift through too many notes to find the one I am looking for, especially if the patient does not remember the time frame in which they were seen.
The same is true for labs and x-ray reports. The e-prescribing feature has many default dosing and instructional settings that are either incorrect or not often used. The process to change directions for a prescription is cumbersome and time consuming. We experience too much down time, with little explanation or time frame of when we will be up and running again. We are essentially crippled when the system goes down. We are unable to access any information which makes it nearly impossible to continue to see patients. Without the ability to review labs, immunizations, previous vitals,etc we cannot provide quality care. We have never been down for more than half the day, although that is still a lot of time, money and frustration wasted.
The IMO search diagnostic code search is supreme. I am able to find codes by providing symptoms, partial diagnoses, and partial codes. It has been a valuable tool. Our parent company has been researching new software, and some of the systems seem to be overly complicated compared to NextGen.
Amy from Covenant
Date: February 2013
I have worked with several different EMR systems but this one is the worst. It is completely inefficient and cumbersome to maneuver within the system. You have to memorize and remember all the millions of clicks to get anywhere. The templates that supposedly help "build your history" string along "sentences" that are non-sensical. There is a delay of 5-6 seconds between every screen and there are way too many screens. You cannot save a whole template. You must save every little piece as in "HPI" is one screen, "ROS" is another which becomes extremely tiresome and exhausting.
We were told that we would be up to full volume in 2 wks, but we are one month in (I'm actually 3 months) and nobody is even close to their full volume. The customer support is lacking a great deal in my experience as my "tap and go" has never worked and I've complained to multiple people, multiple times and nothing has been done to fix it.
The meaningful use instructions do not have anything to do with the diagnosis, so you have to go in and change each one and save it but it doesn't save the instructions for anything other than that diagnosis only. Example; if you pick dx 250.00 and write instructions, save them to your list and then pick dx 250.02 later, the system doesn't recognize that you have saved instructions for diabetes.
It takes forever to check labs and send results just because of the way it is set up so you have to scan through each little part individually and then go back to a different screen to write the results to the patient. If you forget any of it, you have to start over which becomes very frustrating quickly. The PAQ often sends the wrong results to the wrong doctor and it takes forever to first figure it out and then where to send it is complicated.