NextGen UGM 2017 Ushers in a New Era of Healthcare IT

JOHN O’KEEFE | December 20, 2017

NextGen UGM 2017 Ushers in a New Era of Healthcare IT


Each year, providers and vendors flock to NextGen Healthcare’s Annual User Group Meeting (UGM) to keep their finger on the pulse of the latest in healthcare technology. This year’s event was no exception, with the theme “Believe in Better” which aligns with ITelagen’s mission to help medical practices improve clinical, financial and operational outcomes through better technology utilization.

At the event, I attended sessions led by industry experts and met with customers to hear about their real-world challenges and needs. Here are some key takeaways.


A Shifting Landscape

In previous years, UGM topics tended to focus on immediate needs: implementing baseline EHR solutions, fixing technical problems, and complying with new regulations under tight time frames. This year’s meeting covered those topics, but a longer-term perspective was evident. Healthcare technology has clearly turned a corner where it is increasingly considered for strategic potential, not just as a tactical tool. I heard conversations at two levels:


1. Traditional issues such as leveraging technology to improve day-to-day operations and addressing immediate challenges. Hot topics included:

  • Preparing for the NextGen 5.9/8.4 EHR Upgrade, implementing the new version quickly and efficiently, and making sure custom templates work well in the new environment.
  • Overcoming infrastructure and performance issues, particularly after upgrades
  • Optimizing solutions to create the correct workflows and training for new hires, and getting help creating and updating templates.
  • Reducing the number of clicks for clinicians, and only documenting by exception.
  • Complying with the MIPS requirement for an annual security risk assessment.


2. The evolving relationship between healthcare technology and the people that it serves through solutions which improve efficiency and profitability – and above all – achieve better patient care and outcomes. Population Health and Analytics were a main focus including:

  • Leveraging advanced capabilities in NextGen Patient Portal and NextGen Care to engage with patients to manage their care needs.
  • How NextGen investments, such as the recent acquisition of the cloud-based analytics company Eagle Dream Health, enable providers to proactively engage with patients through reminders for visits specific to their health situation, whether it is an annual flu shot or follow-up appointments after cataract surgery.


One thing was clear: continuous innovation will be crucial to survival – both for medical practices and technology vendors. Sticking with a “status quo” approach simply won’t work as the industry quickly moves to a more collaborative, data-driven and value-based model.


 Keeping up with Evolving Needs

ITelagen is committed to helping providers navigate everyday issues like EHR upgrades and optimization, while also exploring strategic initiatives such as population health and analytics. Our team has deep healthcare and technology expertise to assess each practice’s unique requirements and design a solution that will enhance day-to-day productivity and enable long-term success.

We offer a full spectrum of integrated services to support key functions every practice needs including: continuous application access and White Glove Support; optimization to get the most out of your EHR; compliance with data security and HIPAA requirements; and help you collect receivables more efficiently.

The 2017 NextGen Healthcare UGM provided an excellent template for success in the new era of healthcare. As NextGen continues to update its portfolio, ITelagen will expand our own services to help customers get the most out of their technology investment and reach their fullest potential.