Today I’ve had the opportunity to come and check out the NextGen user group meeting. It was conveniently located in Las Vegas and the PR people at NextGen were generous enough to let me come by and get to learn more about NextGen from their actual users. I’ve gone to a lot of healthcare IT conferences (too many recently), but I love to be at user group meetings since you actually get to meet doctors, practice managers, etc that are working on EMR day in and day out. They provide a much different perspective than the health IT industry people that you often meet. Events like this give me a much better perspective of what’s happening in doctors’ offices with EMR.
NextGen announced 4200 in attendance at the user group meeting and I can attest that it’s a very large crowd. It’s quite interesting that the opening keynote was held in the same arena that Pacquiao vs Marquez was fought in a couple nights ago. Yep, that’s a pretty big crowd. Turns out, this big of crowd has its challenges. Not the least of which is having a bunch of the sessions that were completely full and didn’t allow people in. I heard at least one person tell me how frustrated they were that they’d spent a lot of money to attend and couldn’t go to the session they wanted. NextGen is working to offer a repeat of the session, so hopefully that will work out for people that are upset. A part of me wonders why they don’t record all the sessions, but when you read their social media policy for attendees (Something about not revealing NextGen’s proprietary info) you get a better idea of why they wouldn’t probably like that idea.
I could go on about the particulars of the conference, but so far it’s been a well organized and well attended event.
One quick thought I had during the Scott Decker keynote was about NextGen’s focus on SaaS based solutions. Here’s what I tweeted:
NextGen is using their SaaS EHR product with the RECs. Plus they see SaaS as the future. See also their Dell relationship. #NextGenUGM
— John Lynn (@techguy) November 14, 2011
Those are just a few examples, but it seemed very clear to me that NextGen sees SaaS as the future and they’re working hard to make that a reality. I’ll write about this in a future post when I talk about some of the things Scott Decker mentioned that can really only be done in the SaaS environment.
In some of my talks with NextGen users, I asked them about the theme of web based EHR software. One in particular has 30 Citrix servers serving all of their clients. You can imagine that they don’t have any plans to move to a web based environment in the near future with such a large investment in Citrix. So, it will be interesting to see how these two forces play out.
I also saw this tweet coming out of the conference which I found really interesting:
The clearest indication of a failed EMR is the persistence of a paper superbill. Truth straight from Dr. Allin at #NextGenUGM
— Michele Arnold (@MicheleArnold) November 14, 2011
It’s an interesting way to look at EHR adoption. Little insights like this are a really great part of a conference like this. The nice thing is that with the power of Twitter, you can get a number of the insights from the user group yourself. Just follow the hashtag #NextGenUGM.