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Headliner: NextGen Healthcare Information Systems, Inc., Horsham, Pa.

April 13, 2007
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NextGen Healthcare Information Systems, Inc. is not pulling any rabbit out of the hat. In fact, according to the company president, Patrick Cline, its corporate strategy is so basic, even talking about it is almost boring. "There's no magic to it," he says. "It's highly valuing the customer and acting accordingly."

Founded in 1994, the wholly owned subsidiary of Quality Systems, Inc. provides a suite of management solutions, primarily electronic health records and practice management systems, and typically offers them on a license and maintenance fee model. The publicly traded company produces hardware, software and network technology that aims to help physicians cut costs, increase revenues, improve quality and reduce risk by focusing on customer service.

According to Cline, NextGen customers value price performance and a competitive edge. "If we keep the software ahead of the competition, then our customers' software systems are going to enable them to be ahead of their competition," he says. To do this, the company has taken on a variety of partners — its largest, Seimens — and invests heavily in R&D (10 percent of revenue).

Last year's highlights included launching an Internet-based customer e-learning system, as well as rolling out an integrated database. Equipped for both clinical and administrative functions, the database, which required a bit of rewriting, links the electronic medical record system and the practice data management system. This platform project (version 5x) was a major undertaking for the company, and required "many millions" of dollars, and "dozens of man years," but has already delivered a return on investment.

According to Cline, in the end, it all comes back to customer service. "If you highly value your customers, and you highly value your employees, then the shareholder value comes out of that," he says.