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.