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.
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.
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.