A fully integrated EHR system offers everything you need to provide higher quality and safer care for your clients while creating substantial improvements for your behavioral health agency. From the initial intake of a new client through the entire lifecycle of a client’s care, an EHR platform provides a variety of benefits for your business and your clients.
The number of behavioral health facilities implementing EMR software is on the rise, mainly to improve client care and organization performance.
The greater majority of behavioral health organizations that have already implemented new software are satisfied with their decision to move to an EMR system. However, because behavioral healthcare is complex and individualized, it’s difficult to measure EHR ROI. Value in a behavioral health organization is measured in non-monetary ways.
Why EMR Software is an Investment
Implementing behavioral health EMR software is an investment, not an expense, for a variety of reasons. The most important one is that it provides long-term benefits and is a tool for reducing certain expenses.
This reason alone is important to organizations that can’t count on federal subsidies.
Also, behavioral health organizations need to look at both quality and quantity to make sense of ROI. One benefit that doesn’t technically create new revenue is decreasing the staff time spent on regulatory reporting and other administrative or billing functions. The cumulative effect of decreased expenses in these areas can improve the bottom line.
Where to Get More Information
Remarkable Health put together a useful infographic that highlights some interesting statistics on what you can expect in terms of behavioral health EHR ROI when you implement behavioral health EMR software.
Mental health practices, both big and small, are impacted by the health regulations affecting electronic medical records (EMR). Behavioral health providers, in some instances, need to meet meaningful use mandates, but not all behavioral health providers are eligible for these incentives.
If you’re not eligible for meaningful use, you should still consider getting ready for future changes in the system. An EMR behavioral health system provides benefits beyond meaningful use that will improve both your practice and your client care.
Here are questions you need to ask an EMR behavioral health vendor before making your final selection:
- Security. It’s imperative that your EMR vendor be HIPAA compliant, encrypt data both in transit and at rest, and securely store and back up your data.
- Support. Beyond implementation, does the EMR behavioral health vendor provide support and service on a continuing basis? Also, do they provide training after implementation to all of your staff?
- Clinician needs. Will the software solution allow clinicians to easily enter therapy notes, and how much information can be recorded? Can the therapy notes be easily exported and shared?
- Other needs. Can you monitor how your practice is growing? Is it possible to send appointment reminders via calls, text, or emails? Are billing and coding information broken down by staff and service types? Can you automatically submit claims to payors?
- Demo. Can you see a demonstration of the EMR behavioral health system using your own client information to see how the system functions?
- Cost. One of the most important questions is the cost. Does the cost include ongoing service and updates to the system? Are there any additional costs that need to be budgeted for on a continuing basis?
Once you’ve done your research, you can approach EMR behavioral health vendors with a list of requirements and questions. This will help you evaluate each one on a standardized basis to make the best selection possible.
To show you the benefits of a fully integrated behavioral health EMR system, Remarkable Health put together an interesting infographic that points out some surprising statistics on what you can expect in terms of ROI.
If you’ve ever wondered what you might expect to see in ROI after implementing a fully integrated EHR solution, Remarkable Health’s new infographic digs deep into the statistics. Presenting the numbers in an interesting and easy-to-read graphic, Remarkable Health uses information from a wide variety of reputable sources like the Health Information and Management System Society and the EHR Institute.
The infographic entitled What to Expect When You Invest in a Complete EHR System brings out some surprising stats on EHR ROI, beyond the simple reduction of paper and soft returns like increased staff morale.
Why You Should Consider More Than Just a Billing System
Imagine the valuable time and effort from clinicians to staff to executives that can be saved when you automate routine business and client care functions. Everything from the intake of clients, scheduling appointments, clinician diagnoses and notes, and the right medical coding and billing can be handled efficiently from one dashboard.
Not to be overlooked is the time your administrative staff spends in entering remittances and payments. Some behavioral health agencies have reduced that time from 40 hours per week to 10 minutes.
You need more than a billing system to achieve that level of functionality.
The Effect to Your Bottom Line
The HIMSS reported hard ROI figures of behavioral health EHR software solutions to both President Obama and Congress. They reported on 3 different billing improvements that result in a better revenue management cycle. HIMSS also noted several behavioral health EHR software providers report busy agencies and clinics can generate a 98% reduction in rejected claims.
The Remarkable Health infographic also points out how over 3 years after implementing a good behavioral health EHR, some organizations have been able to reduce bad debt by 93%.
There are more statistics presented in the infographic that expand on these and other ROI results.
What Users of Behavioral Health EHRs Have to Say
Behavior Healthcare Executive surveyed their readers who use EHRs and found a variety advantages to implementing a complete EHR system. The top five listed in order of important are:
- Improving client care
- Eliminating paper storage
- Improving staff efficiency
- Ensuring reimbursement
- Tracking outcomes
Some of Remarkable Health’s Advantages
Remarkable Health surveyed their own client base and found some very promising results:
- 3% of their customers’ AR is under 90 days
- 6% of customers have a first-time acceptance rate
There are other impressive results specific to Remarkable Health that are mentioned in the new infographic, What to Expect When You Invest in a Complete EHR System.
Where to Get More Information
The infographic states, “When you implement a complete behavioral health EHR system, your clinicians will spend less time in front of a screen, leaving time to help more clients.”
The statistics, benefits, advantages, and numerical results detailed in Remarkable Health’s infographic all translate into a substantial ROI that means better client care, improved revenue cycle management, and a net positive effect on a clinic’s bottom line.
After reading What to Expect When You Invest in a Complete EHR System, you’ll have a clearer idea of the type of ROI you might see after implementing a new EHR system.
Grant readiness is crucial to grant program success. Before searching and applying for grants, first there are steps a behavioral health nonprofit should take to position themselves for grant award success.
Mental health professionals face a wide variety of challenges into today’s ever-changing healthcare environment. Beyond the federal mandates affecting EMR for mental health providers, clinicians face clients with difficult diagnoses seeking treatment in a society that is slow to embrace mental health issues.
An EMR for mental health might not seem like the answer to these challenges, but there is the potential for return on investment that makes fiscal sense as well as improving client care.
Meeting Business & Client Needs
The right EMR for mental health benefits both the front and the back office. This can help reduce staffing requirements and help you focus instead on client care. With more efficient processes supported by the EMR system, staff will be more productive, which saves time and money.
It can also ensure reimbursements arrive in a timely manner, which is a big concern for most mental health organizations.
Ensuring EMR for Mental Health Practitioners is Successful
Implementation, in most instances, can be seamless, but there will always be bumps along the way until your staff is fully comfortable with the new EMR.
Your vendor should work with you to ensure that the mental health EMR you choose is configured to your requirements and that adequate training and support is provided. A fully integrated EMR platform provides a robust set of templates and forms designed to streamline your business operations and scale up as your organization grows.
Biggest Benefit is Electronic Billing
A fully integrated EMR for mental health practices provides billings with shorter turnaround time than other methods. Look for an EMR that scrubs your billings for coding errors before submission. This will save time and money, and ensure you get paid faster.
One of the biggest benefits of an EMR platform is the reductions in claim denials. This can make a significant impact on your efficiency and bottom line. One study reports that EMR for mental health systems can reduce rejected claims by 98%.
Another big benefit is the automated scheduling feature that notifies you when a client is scheduled, sends out automatic reminders to clients to reduce no-shows, and makes it easy for front office staff to manage all scheduling functions from a single dashboard.
When clients receive routine messages from your practice, they’re more likely to keep appointments and stick to a scheduling plan.
Spend Less Time on Reporting
If your staff spends hours each week on reporting for federal and state regulations, an EMR for mental health helps you track outcomes and run reports on any parameters for regulatory purposes.
In fact, it’s not inconceivable that after implementing a good EMR for mental health, practices have been able to reduce staff time spent on regulatory compliance reporting from hours down to minutes.
Hard Numbers on Actual Benefits
EMR for mental health practitioners benefits both clients and the practice by allowing clinicians to provide better, more timely care and to increase the number of clients they can see each day. This will help your practice grow and serve more clients in the future.
To document the benefits of a fully integrated EMR for mental health, Remarkable Health put together an informative infographic that lists some unexpected statistics about what you can expect in terms of ROI.
Which should you choose: EHR software that gives you all the necessary functionality out of the box? Or an EHR platform that offers additional functionality to grow with your organization?
An out-of-the-box EHR software program has limited functionality and may not meet an organization’s needs in the future. An EHR platform provides a technology foundation that can be designed for immediate needs, but also scale up with added solutions as an organization grows.
If you’ve implemented an EHR system or observed EHR system demonstrations, you know that the functionality of a fully integrated EHR is more than simply an application.
Platforms give you tools designed specifically to manage the dynamic and complex nature of the behavioral health field. They’re configurable and can keep up with the ever-changing needs as your organization grows and takes on more clients. This includes the rapidly changing healthcare landscape.
In contrast, software is usually a hard-coded application. While it can be added on when new features come out, the basic core can become outdated, needing major version updates.
While the choice is yours, it should be apparent that a fully integrated EHR platform offers benefits beyond just software.
If you’re considering a fully integrated EHR platform, Remarkable Health developed a helpful infographic that points out some unexpected statistics on what you can expect in terms of ROI when you implement a behavioral health EHR solution.
Behavioral healthcare providers and their staff are, as a whole, tirelessly committed to making a difference in an under-served community. When you choose an EHR vendor to help you create a system that will support you in serving your community, you want someone who has the sensitivity and understanding of all external forces that impact your practice.
So you should expect to receive the following from your EHR vendor:
- A long-term trusted business advisor who will grow and scale with you. Expect a strong team of experts with the emotional intelligence to help you navigate the healthcare industry and the technology they need to thrive in that industry.
- An understanding of all facets of your business. Expect your EHR vendor to help you switch from your current solution to a fully integrated EHR solution with the responsiveness and appreciation necessary for all staff and clinicians to feel comfortable with the change.
The Remarkable Health Difference
If you’re considering switching to a fully integrated EHR platform, Remarkable Health has an interesting resource that will help guide you through the process of planning, researching, and choosing a behavioral health EHR provider. This new e-Book is titled Switching EHR Systems? How to Choose the Right EHR Provider.
Download your copy here and see how to achieve the results you want and expect from your EHR vendor.
You may be tempted to focus solely on the expense of investing in a new behavioral health EHR system, but that would cover only half of the equation—you need to consider the potential ROI that a fully integrated EHR platform can provide.
Preparing a budget is only one step in planning for the switch to a new EHR system. While there are a few things to take into consideration for budgeting appropriately, you should also estimate your potential ROI as part of the financial analysis.
Specifically, look at efficiencies gained in the following areas:
Clinician caseload management.
Automating some of the notation work necessary to complete a case file allows clinicians more time to take on new clients.
Automating administrative processes through effective technology allows your staff to focus on strategic initiatives rather than menial tasks.
Automatically generating bills submitted to payers decreases the likelihood of clerical error and results in quicker payment.
Where to Go For More Information
Remarkable Health put together an interesting resource titled Switching EHR Systems? How to Choose the Right EHR Provider you can download for free. In this comprehensive, step-by-step guide, it touches on estimating your potential ROI as you prepare your budget.
Download your copy here.
In order for your organization to achieve EHR meaningful use and to initiate new models of care, you’ll need to change how clinicians and staff do their work. Managing this part of the process is called change management, and a lot of research has gone into its study and how to achieve success.
Your behavioral health EHR system is subject to failure if you don’t first deal with the changes in how people and your organization work. Because change creates uncertainty, you need to create a culture of change that helps people realize and face their fear of loss and their resistance to change.
When you help your staff and clinicians believe that the changes brought about by an EHR implementation are not only in their best interest, but are the best way to provide excellent client care, you’ll position the implementation to be successful.
How do you create a culture of change?
Here are the key areas you need to focus on to help people understand and accept the need for new models of care when implementing an EHR solution, which also helps your organization attain EHR meaningful use:
- All employee involvement. Your staff and clinicians must all be involved in the process of examining the policies, procedures, and workflows that govern how you do business. This is how you gain buy-in to make the changes necessary to implement your new EHR system.
- Designate a leadership team. A team comprised of management and staff should champion the changes to come. They will need to be in close communication with staff and clinicians to ensure everyone is on board with the changes happening and help them acclimate to the new way of doing business.
- Changes implemented by staff. Changes to your workflows and business model can’t be made in a vacuum. The staff should be the ones to implement necessary changes because they are the experts who can understand what needs to happen to move the practice forward.
- Run a pilot program. The leadership team can run a pilot test of the workflow changes and listen to the staff recommendations for adjustments. Your staff will know the best solutions to help you properly implement an EHR system.
- Recognize innovative solutions. Rewards and affirmations should be made when someone comes up with an innovative way of making changes that moves your practice towards a successful implementation and attaining EHR meaningful use. Also encourage and reward efforts at continuous quality improvements so that a culture of change is the new norm.
Manage the internal and external forces at work.
Whether you’re implementing a first-time EHR system or switching to a fully integrated EHR solution, you’ll need to manage the internal and external forces at work to achieve success.
Internal forces are those that drive your practice and staff to provide better client care and to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operations.
External forces might be the need to meet state and federal regulations or the need to grow your practice to accommodate new clients.
Use your new EHR solution to manage both the external forces and internal forces that are creating a culture of change. Technology and the right change management plan can help you make the changes needed to implement your new EHR platform and attain meaningful use.
Where to Get More Information
Remarkable Health created a new resource for organizations just like yours to guide you through planning, researching, evaluating, and selecting the best vendor with an EHR solution that meets your client care and operational needs.
You can download this important resource, titled Switching EHR Systems? How to Choose the Right EHR Provider, for free here.