Dell to Host NextGen Health Care Applications in the Cloud

Dell and health care software vendor NextGen announced plans to jointly offer electronic health record applications in the cloud.

Dell and software vendor NextGen Healthcare Information Systems have announced an agreement in which the IT giant will host NextGen's health care software in the cloud.

A division of EHR (electronic health record) vendor Quality Systems, NextGen is a provider of integrated clinical, financial and connectivity software for physician practices, hospitals and dental offices.

"Dell and NextGen Healthcare are committed to delivering leading-edge solutions that will assist health care providers in the delivery of higher quality, better coordinated care," Patrick Cline, president of Quality Systems, said in a statement. "This agreement will leverage the capabilities of both organizations to build on the strengths of our success and capitalize on unprecedented market opportunities."

Together Dell and NextGen will market and deliver technology services to practices of all sizes, including rural and community hospitals and physician networks. The combined Dell/NextGen products will include hardware, software, implementation and consulting services.

"As NextGen helps its clients identify hardware to go along with their EHR and practice management software, Dell's hardware solutions will be the preferred platform," Ike Ellison, NextGen's senior vice president for business development, wrote in an e-mail to eWEEK.

The agreement between Dell and NextGen, announced on Aug. 8, expands on existing collaboration between the two companies to a broader market, Dell reports. For NextGen, the partnership means that all types of medical organizations will be able to access the latest health care IT technology, Ellison said.

"With this partnership, we're bringing together best-of-breed EHR, health information exchange, practice management and other solutions, hardware, and hosting opportunities to offer these providers a variety of ways to access the same, state-of-the-art solutions," Ellison said. "That way, we can help them identify the right solution for their organization, budget, culture, and needs."

Dell, which provides EHR applications to more than 35,000 physicians, will sell NextGen's Ambulatory EHR, Practice Management, Inpatient Clinicals and Inpatient Financials as part of its EHR platform, and will be NextGen's primary hardware supplier.

Dell will also offer NextGen's Health Information Exchange and Patient Portal, and host a SAAS (software as a service) version of Ambulatory EHR, according to Ellison.

Ambulatory EHR features prebuilt templates for 26 types of medical specialties and stores the data in a standard form. It also incorporates features for pay for performance and clinical reporting. In addition, its e-prescribing feature can check prescriptions automatically against a patient's health record to protection against potential allergic reactions.

"By combining our capabilities into integrated solutions with a continuum of implementation options, Dell and NextGen Healthcare are simplifying the adoption and use of electronic medical records and information sharing between health care providers," Dr. Jamie Coffin, vice president and general manager of Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences, said in a statement. "This is critical to accelerating use of digital patient information across our health care system."

For health care customers seeking EHR applications, Dell provides combined packages of hardware, software and services. The company aims to have a single point of accountability, especially for practices without IT staffs, Dell reports.

By providing access through Dell's SAAS portal, smaller practices will have easier access to NextGen's applications, Ellison said.

Cloud computing eliminates some of the capital outlay and technical complexity of EHR applications, according to Dell. Still, health care organizations have yet to completely embrace the cloud, IT services provider CDW reports.