Why do we do what we do at NextGen?
Years ago, my son was the beneficiary of cutting-edge cardiac surgery. He was only two weeks old, and I spent a month in a top children’s hospital with nothing to do but worry and watch. I was grateful and amazed by the passion, skill and commitment of the clinical staff treating my son. That experience drives me still today, especially in my role at NextGen Healthcare. I feel I have a duty to pay forward the great gift given to my family by doing all I can to enable our communities and those living in them to have long and healthy lives.
My story is not exceptional. Our company and our industry are full of great people who have a story of how our mission saved a loved one, a friend or a neighbor from a critical situation. However, as we move forward, truly executing the mission involves working to prevent those very critical and heroic episodes that make us so passionate about healthcare.
I have spent time interacting with all parts of our healthcare community here at NextGen, from meeting you at NextGen ONE User Group Meeting, visiting you onsite, to seeing you at HIMSS. I have often said, “You find religion when you meet your surgeon; you find wellness when you meet your community physician.” My family has been a great beneficiary of advanced surgical care and techniques, but most of us almost never see a surgeon, and with all respect to a great profession, don’t want to. This brings into focus the evolving mission of our healthcare industry, which powers us at NextGen Healthcare.
What is our main goal?
As an industry, certainly one of our goals is to care for those already sick. This noble goal fills our hospital beds and is responsible for a significant part of the cost of our healthcare system. That being said, I would argue that our main goal, especially as I look at our vision for NextGen Healthcare, is to enable well-care networks in our communities — keeping us out of the very hospitals that have been enabled to own those networks. This ownership challenges large, critical care-centered health systems to drive wellness at the risk of empty beds. I am in awe of these organizations and the great critical care they provide, but certainly, see the alignment challenges inherent when “sick-care” owns “well-care”. To me, and others at NextGen Healthcare, truly making healthcare a sustainable and universally accessible part of our society and economy is about well-care, and a vibrant, wellness oriented, community physician network.
The true solution to providing great care at a cost we can afford is to lead healthier lives, stop problems before they become critical, and interact with our community providers in a timely, efficient fashion that makes it easy to pursue wellness. It seems like common sense.
So why aren’t we there?
In the past, both public attitudes and reimbursement models have supported sick-care. Physicians haven’t been paid to prevent illness, only to treat it. However, improving processes in critical care settings doesn’t attack the root of healthcare’s problems. Waiting until you “meet your surgeon” contributes to expensive care and poorer outcomes which can be avoided through proactively contributing to healthier lifestyles. This is especially true with “maturing” patient populations (having just had another birthday, I no longer get “older”!). As such, I fundamentally believe we cannot concede healthcare is rooted in sick-care; it must promote and be centered in well-care. We’re committed to enabling that transformation at NextGen Healthcare.
On the front lines
We at NextGen Healthcare believe that ambulatory physicians are on the front lines of this effort. They are not simply a referral base to fill hospital beds. They fulfill the “purpose” of healthcare by waking up every day thinking about how to keep us out of those beds, proactively moving toward value-based care. We’ve talked to our ambulatory physicians and heard their challenges and —we’re here to help.
We can — and we will — improve patient outcomes, lower the cost of care and achieve real value for our patients if we are laser-focused on the goal of wellness. But this transformation has to start with the doctor/patient relationship. That’s why our ambulatory physicians need partners like NextGen Healthcare who understand their patient-focused mission. They need solutions that offer enough freedom and flexibility to adapt in real time to their unique needs, not simply regress to the model of a rigid system that forces them into “me too” workflows. They need advice and guidance that helps them understand, plan and prepare for the challenges ahead. Our ambulatory community needs more than just software; they need help.
I have great personal gratitude for our healthcare industry. I wake up every day on a mission to engage with our amazing clinicians and physicians in a positive, proactive way. To ensure they can focus on the reason they got into healthcare: to make a meaningful difference in the quality of peoples’ lives.
Healthcare, as an industry, should be held accountable for keeping people well. Positive steps are aligning to ensure healthcare is affordable and effective for everyone. At NextGen Healthcare, this accountability is central to why we do what we do. See how NextGen Healthcare is helping providers reclaim the reason they chose medicine — and transforming care in the process.