EHR system mental health

When Selecting an EHR System, Mental Health Providers Have Options

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When considering an EHR system in the not so distant past, mental health providers found the field for behavioral health was limited to physical medical conditions. Further, they were unwilling or unable to finance the implementation of an EHR system.

Today, however, behavioral health information is becoming a critical piece of a client’s holistic patient record, and behavioral health providers have options to adopt an EHR system developed specifically for the needs of the behavioral healthcare population.

While the selection and implementation of an EHR system that will meet the diverse needs of behavioral health clinicians, administrative and billing staff, and leadership can be complicated, the reality is that behavioral health EHR solutions are now available, affordable, and meet a wide array of care coordination needs.

Selecting an EHR System

Careful consideration and selection of the right EHR system, coupled with an extensive implementation strategy, can help behavioral health organizations achieve the many benefits and advantages, including a ROI that makes business sense.

There are existing behavioral health EHR systems available that are well-designed to support the life cycle of client care from intake and scheduling to assessments and treatment planning, all the way through to billing. Plus, robust reporting and analytics for tools contribute to better overall business decision making.

Features to Consider

Not all EHRs can function well for behavioral health organizations. Here are a few system features you want to ensure your new EHR system has:

  • The content must be targeted towards behavioral health treatments, such as protocols for psychological disorders and prescription-based treatment. This includes different types of care such as outpatient, inpatient/residential, and offsite visits.
  • A mental health EHR system should capture free text. Clinicians often record individual information about the client in free text, writing down what they observe and what family members tell them. This allows clinicians to manipulate and examine information to make better treatment plans and achieve better outcomes.
  • A behavioral health EHR software solution should be developed with mental health regulatory and payor requirements in mind. This is one of the main reasons why organization need a solution specific for behavioral health.

Creating a Plan

To ensure you select the best EHR system, mental health providers should create a strategic plan for EHR implementation. Clinicians and staff should be directly involved, and their suggestions should form the basis for selecting and configuring the EHR system.

An overarching strategy that identifies the features and benefits you expect to receive is invaluable in helping you evaluate EHR system vendors. Decide on everything you need the system to do, like improve treatment planning, communication, better reporting, and supporting holistic care. Then use that list to choose the best EHR system that meets or exceeds those requirements.

Finally, your workflows might need to evolve and adapt to fit the new EHR system. A system will not fix bad workflows, so if something in your processes creates problems or bottlenecks, the EHR system will only amplify it. This is why you should put all care coordination staff together on a team to map your processes first and work with a knowledgeable behavioral health EHR vendor to help you align processes and the EHR system into a complete platform solution.

Where to Get More Information

Remarkable Health designed a highly informative infographic that highlights important statistics on what you can expect in terms of ROI when you implement a behavioral health EHR system. Mental health providers can see at a glance some of the many benefits that can be achieved.

The infographic uses information from a Behavioral Healthcare Executive study and reports statistics from the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and Behavioral Healthcare Executive.

For instance, an HIMSS Study reports a 98% reduction in rejected claims reported by some behavior health EHR software providers.

For more information, download Remarkable Health’s infographic here today.

ehr software

Results of Implementing EHR Software for Behavioral Health Organizations

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An increasing number of behavioral health organizations are making advances by implementing EHR software solutions, and they’re sharing their success stories with others on how working with an EHR has proved beneficial to client care.

In an interesting study, Behavioral Healthcare Executive surveyed their readers who use EHR software, who reported the following advantages:

  • 23.6% said it improves client care
  • 18.1% said it helps get rid of paper storage
  • 16.3% said it helps staff be more efficient
  • 14.2% said it helps ensure reimbursement
  • 11.1% said it helps track outcomes
  • 9% said it saves time

Only 5.6% reported they saw no advantages.

When Qualitative Improvements Become Quantitative

One caveat to consider is that qualitative improvements provide numerous benefits over time, which can save money. For instance, implementing EHR software can reduce errors, save time, and help prevent dangerous contraindications between medications.

With the shifting federal government focus on a reimbursement model based on quality, these qualitative improvements make for better quality client care and happier clients, which helps organizations meet quality of care mandates.

What You Should Consider Before Implementation

Still, some behavioral health clinicians and staff remain skeptical about the value of implementing an EHR solution. As more and more invest in EHR systems, though, they’re sharing that it seems to be money well spent.

The key to a successful EHR software implementation that generates an ROI depends on the behavioral health facility. If you get organizational buy-in, especially from clinicians, and evaluate your workflows and how they’re going to change to adapt to the EHR system, you’ll be in a better position to choose a solution with the functionality you need.

Where to Get More Information

Remarkable Health created an interesting infographic that highlights useful statistics on what you can expect in terms of ROI when you implement behavioral health EHR software.

In addition to the Behavioral Healthcare Executive study mentioned above, the infographic reports statistics from the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and Behavioral Healthcare Executives.

For more information, download Remarkable Health’s infographic here today.

EMR system

One Major Advantage of Implementing a Behavioral Health EMR System

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Behavioral health, as a specialty, hasn’t historically adopted EHR systems because most are nonprofit with limited funding. In addition, sole practitioners didn’t need something that robust in an EHR system.

However, with the advent of meaningful use mandates and the customization of EMR systems for behavioral health practices, the move to the right EMR software solution and a carefully planned implementation strategy can provide many extremely beneficial advantages to a behavioral health organization.

Following is one advantage that makes sense to all involved, from behavioral health clinicians to clients and other healthcare specialists.

Breaking down Silos

Some, but not all, EMR systems allow all healthcare practitioners who care for clients as a whole to share notes so that the entire course of treatment is holistic. The primary care physician, health specialists, and behavioral health providers all work together on a holistic plan.

Inside a behavioral health organization, though, better decisions are made by sharing information to limit the possibly of a dangerous situation where a clinician is completely dependent on the information from the client and/or family members. Without an EMR solution, silos of information exist that prevent clinicians, billing staff, and scheduling from sharing details necessary to perform their functions.

With an EMR system, clinicians, staff, and executives can share appropriate information and insight that affects the client’s care and the administrative handling of the case and reporting initiatives.

Many Other Advantages

Remarkable Health put together an interesting infographic that points out some surprising statistics on what you can expect in terms of ROI when you implement a behavioral health EMR system.

Download Remarkable Health’s infographic here today.

EMR behavioral health

How to Decide Which EMR Behavioral Health System is Right for You

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. 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?
  5. Demo. Can you see a demonstration of the EMR behavioral health system using your own client information to see how the system functions?
  6. 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.

Download Remarkable Health’s infographic here today.

complete ehr system

Surprising Infographic: What to Expect When You Invest in a Complete EHR System

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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:

  1. Improving client care
  2. Eliminating paper storage
  3. Improving staff efficiency
  4. Ensuring reimbursement
  5. 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.

Download Remarkable Health’s surprising infographic today.

EMR for mental health

How an EMR for Mental Health Helps You Meet Challenges

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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%.

Streamline Scheduling

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.

Download Remarkable Health’s infographic here today.

ehr provider

What to Consider When Thinking About Investing in a New Behavioral Health EHR System

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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.

Operational efficiencies.

Automating administrative processes through effective technology allows your staff to focus on strategic initiatives rather than menial tasks.

Billing reimbursements.

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.

Is Your Hybrid Technology Solution Serving Your Needs?

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You’ve faced so many changes in the behavioral healthcare industry, with the Affordable Care Act and HITECH pushing for the adoption of electronic health record solutions. You think you’ve put together a technology solution that addresses all of your business needs, client care issues, and regulatory reporting requirements.

But are you sure it’s serving all of your needs?

The following points may help you answer that question.

Increased Productivity

If you find your staff and clinicians aren’t able to keep up with productivity demands and also report on outcomes with your current system, it might not be meeting all of your needs. A hybrid EHR system can actually cause you more work on the back end in trying to get systems to communicate with each other than a fully integrated EHR platform would.

Better Business Model

As a result of both the ACA and HITECH, you may have made changes to your business model in an effort to achieve compliance with meaningful use and client care initiatives. But if your current workflows don’t mesh well with your technology solution, your needs are definitely not being served. A trusted EHR solution provider can guide you through the changes necessary to take full advantage of EHR technology. This will help you build a better business model that everyone—staff and clinicians alike—can get behind.

Scalability

Is your hybrid solution holding you back from expanding your services and reaching new clients where they are in the behavioral healthcare process? Or perhaps your solution doesn’t support the complex reporting needs required by state and federal regulatory mandates. A new, fully integrated EHR platform is both scalable and offers fully-featured business intelligence tools for reporting, plus a lot more functionality like mobile capabilities for case managers working outside the office.

Your Next Steps

If any of the above points resonated with your current hybrid technology solution, there’s a comprehensive resource that will guide you step-by-step through the process of switching EHRs to a fully integrated EHR platform solution.

Remarkable Health put together a valuable resource entitled Switching EHR Systems? How to Choose the Right Provider that’s free to download. This valuable e-book covers everything from determining your functionality requirements to researching vendors and preparing an RFP.

Download your copy here and see why making the switch makes more sense than sticking with your current hybrid technology solution.

Top 5 Features You Need in a Behavioral Health EHR System

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Do you know what to look for in a behavioral health EHR solution that will ensure the fullness of your needs are met for optimal organization success? With the proliferation of behavioral health software vendors offering solutions, it’s hard to determine what’s most important.

Here are the top 5 features you need to ensure a behavioral health EHR solution provides before you commit to a vendor.

  1. Full integration. Some vendors claim their systems are “all-in-one” solutions, but use third-party software to complete their solution. For example, billing and scheduling may be managed on different internal systems or by a third-party vendor instead of fully integrated into a complete EHR solution. A fully integrated EHR solution offers the full spectrum of care functionality on one platform. Centralized data is accessible between functional teams with everything you need to manage your business from a single dashboard. Without the full cache of features integrated into one cohesive system, you run the risk of having information in separate software programs that don’t communicate with each other.
  2. Meaningful Use (MU) and ONC-certified. The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health IT identifies Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies (ATCB) that ensure an EHR solution meets the definition of “certified EHR technology.” To be compliant with standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria adopted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, you should choose an EHR solution vendor who is “ONC certified”.
  3. Flexible and Scalable. Look for a solution that is flexible by providing a wide range of content serving many different types of behavioral health programs and populations and is scalable to meet your agency’s needs today and as you grow into the future. This will help you mitigate the risk that your solution will become outdated as your business grows and changes with the ever-changing healthcare environment.
  4. Reporting and Analytics Capable. To easily and effectively meet compliance and auditing requirements, a system and vendor partner offering reporting and analytics capabilities will allow you to generate comprehensive reports as needed. Not only will this help you manage the business end of your practice, but it also lets you mine the data in your system to make better client care decisions.
  5. Paperless solution. This is the goal of a successful EHR solution and one that will have a positive impact on productivity and efficiency. It creates one centralized location for all client information providing your cliincal staff access to real-time data for better care decisions, assist your administrators in making sound business decisions, support seamless billing efforts and improved reimbursements, reduce your paper footprint and free up time to focus on client care and growing your organization.

The ClaimTrak Difference

ClaimTrak’s hosted solution provides all 5 of these important features and much more. For example, our EHR platform integrates with the Health Information Exchange, allows scanning and faxing, and offers auto export functionality so you can send electronic documents to partners.

We put together a valuable resource entitled The Complete Guide to a Fully Integrated EHR for Behavioral Health that offers more in-depth detail on what to look for and how to select an EHR solution.

Download your copy here and learn how to mitigate the risk of choosing the wrong solution.