I grew up in a small town in rural Missouri surrounded by a family of physicians. As a kid, we would go into my father’s office on Sunday nights so he could go through a huge pile of paper charts and dictate them all onto cassette tapes (link for those of you too young to remember these relics!) Originally designed for dictation machines, many doctors like my father would use these cassettes and ‘mini-cassettes’ so they could move around while they record. On Monday, his staff would listen to the tapes and transcribe them. I remember thinking, ‘we have a computer at home, so why couldn’t he use a computer at work?’ There had to be a better way for doctors and their staff to use their time to treat people instead of spending so much time doing paperwork.
Over the past few decades, I have worked in various roles in the healthcare industry around the world—in hospitals, ambulatory centers, and with consumers. I’ve seen firsthand how providers’ lives, practices, and the consumer experience have evolved dramatically. We have certainly come a long way by making these huge stacks of paper charts electronic, but we need to do more for people who need care and the professionals who treat them. We have the technology and the data to take a huge leap forward in providing an automated and seamless experience that improves the health of communities.
This is why I was inspired to join NextGen Healthcare in its mission to empower the transformation of ambulatory care—it’s a worthy cause that I’m passionate about. We have reached an inflection point for accelerating the next phase of healthcare. Because we can do better—for care providers and consumers of care.
Many doctors are still working on Sunday nights, like my father. But now they work from their laptop or tablet at home instead of having to drive to the office. We still haven’t fully leveraged technology to automate tasks like billing, scheduling, and compliance so providers and care teams can stay focused on delivering care and optimize their time in the office.
With a scalable, integrated solution that supports ambulatory practices of any size, we have a real opportunity to empower independent physicians to stay independent and enable them to engage with patients more effectively. This is especially important in rural communities like the one I grew up in and inner cities across the U.S. where we have seen an unfortunate growth of ‘healthcare deserts.’
For consumers, the next phase of healthcare means greater access to and control over your health. There is a huge amount of data made available through health monitoring tools such as wearables. Imagine a day when this data can be used to form a true health partnership with your medical, behavioral and dental care providers—the actualization of whole person care – not just in a single innovative practice, but across the entire healthcare industry.
I am proud to lead NextGen Healthcare into this exciting phase—where providers are more efficient and effective in delivering care to their communities, patients enjoy healthier and longer lives, and doctors and nurses remember what called them into this caring profession. I believe in better… for them.