NextGen advises to not modify templates until you use the system for a few months. They want you to use it as they intended, and let you see over time what exactly works and doesn’t. I can understand the thought process behind this, but I also believe that software should be consumer driven.
The best software is constantly being improved with user input. To my knowledge the NextGen Dermatology templates have only gone through two iterations. Dermatologists, and medical staff in Dermatology offices are going to have the best ideas for the direction of the product. This supersedes any physician advisor hired by NextGen for input on their templates.
I’ve been working in Dermatology (specifically Dermatologic Surgery and Mohs Surgery) for ten years. I document the medical/surgical visits every day. I feel as though I know what I need to document, and my workflow. It only takes a quick glance at a template to recognize that it will or will not work.
I feel a little more confident in creating custom templates for Mohs Surgery and Dermatologic Surgery because I’ve worked for a number of years suggesting improvements for the MARS program. While this software company has Implemented many of my suggestions over the years, I feel there are many inadequacies and could still use further improvement. I’m excited to have the features of NextGen that allows the ability to pretty easily have full customization. I can finally implement every feature I’ve wanted on a robust back end.
So really I’m just updating the NextGen Mohs templates based on the years of iterations I’ve already done.
I am also very confident that I can improve templates to complete the other tasks when seeing a patient, chart abstraction, rooming a patient, documenting various medical dermatology visits, documenting laser and other cosmetic visits, pathology reporting, etc.
I think every dermatologist has used a paper form to help them document a visit. And I would guess that many created this form themselves, and many others took an existing form and modified it for their use. Modifying the NextGen templates is no different and I see no reason to wait. Do it before you go live to decrease training time and to insure it doesn’t get put on the back burner. Otherwise, before you know it, you’ll have been using subpar templates for a year.