NextGen vs. Epic: Which EMR System is the Winner?
There is a wide range in quality between EHR and EMR software despite the common perception – wrong, as we would posit – that it is all equally complex and frustrating to use. NextGen and Epic are both widely used EMR systems, but how do they perform when compared to one another? Here is a feature-by-feature comparison between Epic and NextGen.
These EMR/EHR systems offer full and powerful features, such as charting, storing vitals and measurements, using prescription templates and ePrescribing, and more. Every system has pros and cons, depending on how you want to run your practice.
Here’s a quick summary of the pros and cons of both NextGen and Epic EMR.
NextGen offers two EMR solutions: Office and Enterprise; you can change that to fit the requirements of different practices and hospitals. So, it lets users change the system to fit their needs and the needs of their industry. NextGen is a good choice for several practices because it has a lot of reporting options.
Some of NextGen EMR problems are the same ones that many EMRs have. For example, some users say that the UX is hard to use and complicated and that upgrades are slow and can cause the system to stop working. Many reviews of this product also say that the vendor support isn’t excellent.
Epic EMR is perfect for academic medical centers and large healthcare organizations. As a result, it is one of the US’s most famous IT systems for health care. Hundreds of thousands of patients use it.
Integration and price are two things that Epic does not do well. Epic EMR does not allow its users to share information with other software systems. Even sending data to platforms that aren’t integrated with Epic costs money. As a result, it adds to the price, which turns some people away.
The dashboard of NextGen EMR lets users work more quickly and easily. They can look at past HPIs, exams, assessments, and plans without switching to another screen. They can also look at medications, allergies, and the patient’s medical history. On the patient encounter screen is a list of medicines and the number of items on that list. If a doctor hovers over a medication, they can see more information about it. When users click on the link, they are taken to the medication module, where they can add new entries or change the ones already there.
Epic EMR keeps track of medications on the encounter screen. The log has all medicines prescribed by Epic providers. You can access it through a pop-up window, so you don’t have to switch between screens. It is valuable, but it keeps all your old medications until a doctor removes them.
On the home screen of NextGen EMR, users can see past HPIs, exams, assessments, and plans. They can also look back at medications, allergies, and medical history. Users can also flip through charts with auto-grow grids in NextGen EMR. Physicians can use the patient information bar to quickly look up information like age, date of birth, insurance company, address, etc., without stopping what they’re doing. This solution allows users to move their mouse over fields to see more information without leaving their screen. It is a common problem for doctors. The patient’s primary pharmacy, rendering provider, and primary care provider can also be seen on the patient encounter screen.
Epic EMR lets users keep track of all patient information, like their medical history, medications, allergies, lab/radiology results, and more. A pop-up window lets doctors get to this information. In addition, patients can use various mobile apps to access their medical records, encouraging them to take an active role in their care.
However, when comparing NextGen and Epic, this system is more difficult to use and has a steeper learning curve, according to some users. Also, if a patient’s medical history comes from a provider who isn’t part of Epic EMR, you can’t access that information through EMR integration.
Users of NextGen EMR can save a whole SOAP note without losing its format, and they can use “Quick Note” to use it again for common findings. With “Quick Saves,” users can also save their preferences for procedures and exams. If users leave their SOAP note or finish it, it will still be in the same format when they return. It shortens the time it takes to learn and makes it easier to use templates.
Epic EMR does not support SOAP notes as many other EMRs do. It is partly because Epic has its way of handling data, which doesn’t let it share data with other companies. As a result, Epic EMR’s encounter record doesn’t follow the standard SOAP note format.
Using an EMR instead of paper records makes it easier to keep records. EMRs have a list of symptoms that doctors can use to figure out what’s wrong with a patient. Standardizing signs and ICD-10 codes for those symptoms makes it easier to record and bill for care. EMRs, EHRs, and medical practice management software should be able to do this in some way, but how easy it is to use and how much it does will vary.
NextGen EMR lets its users write diagnoses and notes about patient interactions. Users can use PFT and standard codes like SNOMED CT and ICD-10 to find diagnoses in the list of problems.
On the encounter screen, doctors can see how many allergies, problems, medications, and diagnoses a patient has. When you move your mouse over the issues tab of the encounter screen, a list of long-term problems appears. The diagnoses tab shows a complete list of all diagnoses made during previous encounters. The hover option makes it easy for users to find information about a patient without having to change templates or leave the encounter note.
Users of Epic EMR can record information about a patient’s disease along with the disease’s diagnosis. For example, the problems list in Epic has all of a patient’s previous diagnoses, and all Epic providers can see it. In addition, this information can be sorted so that each practitioner can see only the information that is important to them.
This system combines review, documentation, and order management into a single interface that all care team members can use to access patient records. However, sorting through a patient’s previous diagnoses can be difficult, and the UX of this system is much less easy to use than NextGen’s.
With NextGen Ambulatory’s InSight Reporting, users can set practice benchmarks, track progress, and get real-time comparative analytics on peers and payers that are both insightful and useful. In addition, it lets practices find pain points in their daily operations, such as long waits in the lobby, high rates of individual doctor mistakes, overpaying, etc., and deal with them better.
Epic’s Epicenter has several reports, both ones that are already made and ones that are based on queries. Users can report clinical and financial data from multiple integrated Epic providers using Epic’s large databases. Even people who don’t know how to use other BI tools can make and understand these reports. This interconnectivity lets users get large data sets and see trends across multiple practices in their reports.
NextGen EMR lets you see charts and lab results immediately, no matter where you are. This instant access without a paper chase makes it possible to keep an eye on a patient’s record at all times. It means doctors and office workers can immediately act on new information, saving lives.
In addition, patients can see their results as soon as they come in through a patient portal, another benefit of this real-time access. As a result, they don’t have to wait days for their results to be processed and sent to the right people.
Since Epic EMR doesn’t let you share data directly, it takes longer to do things. Instead, users of Epic have to send the results of diagnostic tests to the right caregivers by hand, often using paper trails. Even though it still gets the job done, this more complicated process adds to doctors’ already heavy workloads and makes the whole care team wait longer for actual lab results.
NextGen vs. Epic: The Winner
While both systems are great, we can’t decide which one is better for you as it depends on your practice requirements. Both provide identical functionalities (except SOAP notes, which Epic EMR does not offer), but how those functions are provided to end users makes all the difference. NextGen Healthcare is far more user-friendly than Epic, with interoperability features that make it far easier to integrate with other systems. After comparing features, compare the prices of these two EMRs and the characteristics of other EMR/EHR industry leaders. You should now be confident in looking for the best EMR for your practice.