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8/9/2011
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Dell, NextGen Team On Cloud-Based Services

Dell will sell NextGen's suite of healthcare applications and provide hosting as it targets the EMR marketplace.

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Dell and NextGen Healthcare Information Systems have signed an agreement that will expand their partnership as they join forces to deliver technology and services to medical practices of all sizes, including rural and community hospitals and physician networks.

Under the agreement, announced Monday, Dell will market, sell, and support NextGen Ambulatory EHR, NextGen Practice Management, NextGen Inpatient Clinicals, NextGen Inpatient Financials, and other NextGen systems as components of Dell's Electronic Medical Records (EMR) programs for hospitals and physicians. Dell will also use its cloud-based platform to host NextGen applications as a way to enable healthcare clients to access and manage data. The agreement will help Dell push its hardware platform, which will be used by all NextGen products as well as for NextGen Healthcare's internal use.

Dell and NextGen have previously worked together on specific engagements, but the agreement further expands the scope and reach of that relationship to a broader market, Jonathan Isaacs, EMR solutions strategist at Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences, told InformationWeek Healthcare. He also said NextGen's suite of products, from ambulatory EMR and practice management applications to inpatient clinical systems, will help Dell continue to cater to customer preferences.

"By partnering with NextGen, Dell is able to provide a seamless EMR and health information exchange (HIE) solution within our cloud offering to these healthcare organizations. Additionally, NextGen will now turn to Dell as its primary hardware supplier for internal use as well as resale to NextGen clients," Isaacs said.

Offering a cloud-based service to medical practices is also a way to tap into medical practices that want an easy, affordable way to access their medical records. Currently, Dell provides a cloud-based EMR for more than 35,000 physicians and hopes to attract more customers through its partnership with NextGen.

"We see the cloud as helping to accelerate the use of EMRs, particularly for small and medium physician practices, because it eliminates many of the typical barriers to use--capital outlay and technical complexity. A cloud-based EMR has strong and growing appeal among these firms. It also secures and protects the applications and patient data in the datacenter," Isaacs said.

According to Isaacs, Dell's approach has been to work with the leading EMR providers to give the company's healthcare customers a choice in the software they prefer when they purchase an integrated system from Dell.

"By providing an integrated solution (hardware, software, and services) Dell simplifies EMR implementation and provides a single point of accountability which is particularly important for small physician practices that don't have IT staffs to rely upon," Isaacs explained.

Join InformationWeek Healthcare for an on-demand virtual event on electronic health records. You can access presentations and content surrounding EHR selection, deployment, and use, all at your own convenience. Find out more.

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