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NextGen Healthcare Information Systems, LLC, a subsidiary of Quality Systems Inc. , hit the headlines again by presenting a clinical decision support (CDS) tool that will help healthcare providers achieve evidence-based clinical knowledge much more easily. NextGen's client Willamette Valley Providers (WVP) has agreed to take the program live with a commercial electronic health record (EHR).

The story to develop the CDS tool began in 2008 when Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) founded the Clinical Decision Support Consortium (CDSC). Its members include leading healthcare providers and EHR vendors, including NextGen Healthcare, aimed at developing, implementing and evaluating methods for incorporating CDS into the healthcare system.

The CDSC also aimed at establishing consistencies for clinical decision support recommendations across the nation so that healthcare providers do not entirely depend on vendors and product upgrades. In order to achieve this consistency, Partners HealthCare – founded by BWH and Massachusetts General Hospital – created a process that involves

i)    a provider sending a request for clinical decision support through NextGen Ambulatory EHR;
ii)    the NextGen system that creates Continuity of Care Document (CCD) with a patient’s de-identified clinical data;
iii)    the analysis of CCD when it is delivered to the Partners’ Enterprise Clinical Rules Service (ECRS);
iv)    Partners to return an Extensible Markup Language (XML) message with recommendation(s) appropriate for the given patient;
v)    Immediate display of recommendation(s) to the provider in NextGen Ambulatory EHR.

Ore.-based WVP Health Authority, consisting about 530 members practicing primary and specialty care, will test the solution. The organization will collect and analyze data from an ongoing pilot for six months to evaluate the effectiveness of patient information transfer to Partners and care recommendations back to WVP’s physicians.

Recently, NextGen Healthcare Information Systems also launched the new NextGen Patient Portal that provides an interactive care between the patients and medical practitioners by facilitating electronic communication and clinical data exchange.

With the help of the Portal, physicians will be able to interact with patients online and import structured data directly into the NextGen Ambulatory Electronic Health record (HER) system. The platform will also be available in Spanish and two dialects of Chinese apart from English, enabling to cover a diverse range of population.

Recently, another medical information systems provider Allscripts Healthcare Solutions’ launched its Sunrise Clinical Manager (SCM) Electronic Health Record (EHR) system in South Australia’s Noarlunga Hospital.

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions’ launch involved more than 100 clinical and administrative staff at the hospital. The integrated single platform Sunrise Clinical Manager EHR system will help them electronically access patient information at the bedside and throughout the hospital.

Quality Systems reported first-quarter fiscal 2014 (ended Jun 30) earnings per share of 22 cents, down 15.4% year over year. However, earnings were in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Net income declined 16.8% in the quarter to $12.9 million. Revenues decreased 7% year over year to $109.5 million in the first quarter. The company’s revenues also missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $116 million.

Currently, QSII carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). While we remain on the sidelines about the stock, medical information services provider Medidata Solutions , carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), as well as Alere Inc. in the medical products industry with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) are worth considering.

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