The Silicon Review
The number of medical errors that occur annually across the U.S. healthcare system is staggering. It demands that the industry develop more comprehensive approaches to eradicating duplicate medical records and patient misidentification. Since patient safety starts with accurate identification across the continuum, Pasadena, CA-headquartered NextGate Solutions is doing its part to strengthen the existing solutions and capabilities, embrace emerging innovations, and provide a full range of services to fit every need, environment, and stage of maturity, to deliver state-of-the-art, life-saving intelligent identity solutions.
Healthcare delivery organizations need unprecedented clarity and consistency in their medical records to improve clinical and operational performance. This is critically important as consumer expectations evolve and care providers become more dependent on federal initiatives such as population health and value-based reimbursements — all of which rely on accurate, easily accessible data quality. Over the past two decades, NextGate has consistently remained true to what it is – a company that allows its customers to uniquely distinguish their patients — what doctors they see, what tests they've had, what medications they are allergic to, and what health plan they are covered by. "We also enable organizations a complete view of their physicians—what medicine they specialize in, what insurance they accept, what their practice hours are, what languages they speak, and what hospitals they are affiliated with," explained Daniel Cidon, CTO and Co-Founder of NextGate Solutions.
In a brief interview with us, Co-founders of NextGate, Andy Aroditis (CEO) and Daniel Cidon (CTO) gave us some deep insights into the healthcare system's flaws. In addition, Andy and Daniel explained to us how NextGate is addressing these issues through their solutions. Here are the excerpts from the interview:
Q. NextGate was established in 2005. How has the company evolved with time?
Andy: At NextGate, our only priority is developing the best digital identity solutions in the world. We remain focused on technical breakthroughs that wreak havoc on the market and yield immediate value to our customers. It is this focus that continues to drive us to the forefront of advancements in patient identification—bringing needed clinical, financial and administrative relief to healthcare providers and their patients.
Danny: Today, we are leading a new transformation in patient identification, with the introduction of OneDID — a consumer-focused, digital identity verification app that puts patients in control of managing and sharing their personal information, like insurance cards and driver’s licenses. Using their mobile device, consumers determine what information they share, with whom, and for what purpose, to streamline redundant, time-consuming interactions with their care providers.
Q. What are the challenges associated to disentangling the mess of duplicate records and disparate data?
Danny: Duplicate records and poor patient identification caused by data fragmentation cost the industry $6 billion annually. Not only is duplicate and incomplete data enormously costly, but a major impediment to interoperability and patient safety. Disparate records trapped in silos of systems lead to medical errors, denied claims, administrative waste, poor data quality, physician burnout, and patient frustration. Reaping the rewards of a fully-integrated U.S. healthcare system, where data moves seamlessly from provider to provider, can only be realized when patients are accurately and consistently matched with their data.
Andy: Today, the issue of poor patient identification and duplicate records has grown increasingly complex as more data is generated and more applications are introduced into the healthcare environment. As healthcare’s massive transformation takes hold, organizations now find themselves under increased pressure to effectively identify, track and manage individuals across care settings. The COVID-19 pandemic is a prime example of that.
Q. How does your EMPI help in delivering better and more efficient care?
Danny: Enterprise-level patient identification is critical to providing real-time data connectivity and interoperability. Our flagship Enterprise Master Person Index (EMPI) empowers care providers by linking and enriching medical data in any given system with missing or incomplete demographics across settings of care with a single best record. Today, NextGate’s EMPI solution is implemented in nine countries, and manages over 350 million unique patient identities worldwide. The accurate patient identification and cross-system data exchange afforded by the EMPI are critical to sharing critical information, improving data quality, and delivering complete visibility into a patient’s care journey for better outcomes and highly-coordinated, fully-integrated care.
Q. How involved are you during the implementation process of EMPI solution?
Danny: As an organization, NextGate is heavily involved with each and every EMPI implementation. Our services team is an integral part of the organization. Not only are we a software vendor, but we are also consultants in the area of data quality, data governance, and system integration. This allows us to maximize the value of our software offering because an EMPI is more than just a software solution. It is a tool that organizations should leverage to transform the way that they do their business. Our active role in the implementation is also a key to the feedback loop that drives our R&D department. It allows us to experience firsthand the challenges and opportunities of our customers and this lets us focus our innovation in the areas of most value.
Andy: Every customer is assigned an executive sponsor to oversee the implementation process. This is in addition to the project manager, senior architect, and other highly experienced members of the team involved with the project. The executive sponsor is there to discuss the strategic goals of the organization and ensure that NextGate’s software is used in a way that maximizes its value in the long term. Personally for me, the role of executive sponsor allows me to stay directly connected with our customers and ensure that NextGate as an organization is maintaining the highest standards of quality.
Q. How important is the NextGate team in maintaining the excellence of your services?
Andy: I have tremendous gratitude for the pride our NextGate family takes in our overall success, and the success of our customers. Together, we have expanded our footprint in the market, enhanced our product and service offerings, and kept our customers ahead of healthcare’s evolving curve as part of a fundamental business and infrastructure strategy. As evidence of our dedication to advance our value and leadership in the market, we expanded our team in several key areas, including the cloud, to empower NextGate’s future road map. Our employees continue to innovate and develop solutions that disrupt and redefine the healthcare market for the better. Their immense contributions to NextGate have created opportunities that take organizations where they need to be in order to meet the insurmountable demands of a rapidly changing healthcare environment.
Q. What is your vision for the future?
Danny: For far too long, the patient has been left out the conversation when it comes to healthcare digitization. Our OneDID solution changes that, giving consumers power over their medical data. Recently introduced federal regulations now require that hospitals and insurance companies provide consumer access to their personal health records. With OneDID, we are supporting consumers with more convenient access and control of their medical information so they can become increasingly more aware, involved, and educated about their health. More importantly, they can become active participants in managing their identity.
For the payer or provider, leveraging OneDID achieves 100% matching accuracy while enhancing the consumer experience by putting patients squarely in charge of their insurance cards, driver’s license and other verified health information. Consumers can control and verify their identity in real time using their mobile device— allowing them to skip the check-in process, avoid redundant paper-based forms, and expedite care delivery.
Andy: With innovated and secure use of blockchain technology, OneDID will be changing how consumers fundamentally interact with health systems, retail clinics, pharmacies, and health plans, to verify their identities during care interactions. We know a convenient approach to identity that protects privacy and authorizes consent will be essential to improving the patient experience. With the patient being now the single source of truth of their identity, our vision is to expand that authority to other sectors outside of healthcare.
NextGate endures because NextGate evolves. While 2021 was a year of accomplishments, it also was also a year of looking to the future and launching new initiatives, new partnerships, and new offices internationally to support the industry for years to come.
Andy Aroditis, CEO and Co-Founder
He is the driving force behind healthcare’s market-leader in digital identity software. Andy oversees the strategic direction of the company and upholds NextGate’s position as the trailblazer in EMPI technology. Under his leadership, NextGate has evolved into an enterprise-grade solutions provider. Andy has pioneered the EMPI market category and has led the company’s global penetration of the healthcare sector.
Daniel Cidon, CTO and Co-Founder
He has been a pioneer in the health IT industry for the last twenty years. As CTO and Co-Founder of NextGate, Danny is responsible for shaping the company’s long-term technical vision and turning emerging technologies into leading-edge solutions. He brings innovative and pragmatic solutions to the company’s product portfolio. As a respected voice in patient identification technology, Danny is the author of several published articles and a sought-after expert in health IT.