Knowledge and awareness pertaining to mental health have recently been given its due share of importance across many societies. Facets around how one feels, how one thinks, and how one acts all form a part of mental health. It also encompasses what makes one feel positive and how one deals with everyday pressures. Only very recently has the world embraced the idea of anyone having mental health problems. Helping individuals with mental health problems are various professionals and dedicated institutions.
Just like any medical professional, mental health professionals also are expected to keep a track of colossal amounts of information. This includes the likes of client diagnoses, health information, treatment plans and notes, appointment schedules, insurance, and much more. Aiding mental health professionals in this facet are practice management software solutions or EHR software(s) for mental health. These solutions take the burden of office management off the shoulders of mental health professionals for them to pursue their duties with requisite satisfaction and efficiency. Digitizing records using EHR software for mental health can have a positive impact on the care that is rendered to the clients. It is also helpful in making sure the practice complies with all the standards set by HIPAA, ensuring every record that is captured is secure and private.
So, what is an EHR software for mental health?
EHR software for mental health or an Electronic Health Records software for mental health provides professionals with a comprehensive outlook on the client’s health. The records hold all the information about the health history, information that has been entered by other medical practices and care providers, thereby creating a detailed, holistic overview of the mental health history of the client. This information can be privately and safely accessed between organizations and practitioners to share relevant health concerns, medications, allergies, lab results, and the likes. With the rapid advancement of technologies, incorporation of EHR software(s) for mental health brings with its numerous e-prescribing tools, mobile health-related technologies among other aspects. These aspects have become available across different cloud based EHR software(s) for mental health.
But what is a cloud based EHR software for mental health and why is it more advantageous in comparison with the on-premise EHR software for mental health?
After deciding to use EHR software for mental health, medical practices have the choice of cloud based EHR software for mental health or on-premise EHR software for mental health. While the cloud-based software stores all the pertinent data on external servers that can be accessed through any device with an internet connection, the on-premise software stores data on a personal server. Installing, maintaining, and accessing an in-house server always brings with its additional costs that do not exist in the case of a cloud based EHR software for mental health.
Moreover, maintenance and management of these servers require a dedicated IT team that could bring with it additional costs over the server installation charges. With cloud-based systems relying on a SaaS provider, the expense and burden around managing a server are significantly reduced. This also takes care of other facets like software licensing, configuring, and security, which otherwise have to be handled by medical practices themselves. Additionally, with the servers being managed by the vendors, medical practices can be assured of complying with all the necessary HIPAA standards.
What are the benefits of EHR software for mental health?
Medical health practitioners around the world have started utilizing EHR software for mental health in their systems. Owing to their growing acceptance across paraprofessionals and medical providers, the use of the software can be seen extensively and is bound to increase multifold in the years to come. To further look at how advantageous the software is, here are 5 benefits of the EHR software for mental health:
- Sharing information is simplified and seamless with EHR software. This enables vital information to be shared among practitioners instantly, enabling tweaks and modifications in diagnosis delivery, treatment plans to ensure efficiency.
- Medication management is improved significantly, where the software can help careful monitoring of prescription drugs, tracking medication dosages in real-time to ensure the elimination of double doctoring by patients.
- At a point where the security of patient records is of paramount importance, EHR software for mental health can help protect records through advanced-level security features that ensure no data is prone to theft, loss, or destruction from any natural disasters.
- An EHR software takes care of the billing process through advanced tools and plugins. This helps mental health medical practitioners reduce delays and errors that could be caused by paper invoicing.
- A cloud based EHR software for mental health offers unparalleled accessibility from anywhere in the world. With the aim of reducing response time to deal with different emergency situations, EHR software can improve crisis management for mental health professionals.
What are the key factors to consider while choosing an EHR software for mental health?
Practices that have decided to implement EHR software for mental health are bound to consider numerous facets before they plunge into making a decision. It is a large investment, and practices are expected to deep dive into what each EHR software for mental health offers and how it meets their needs and objectives.
Here are 5 factors one must surely consider while choosing an EHR software for mental health:
One of the most obvious, but crucial considerations is the user interface of the EHR system and how it integrates with the existing suite of software(s). The EHR software must be easy to navigate, but intuitive to use. Practices must check different software solutions and see how easy or difficult it is for the staff to use.
Reputation of vendors
It is imperative for medical practices to look at the reputation of each offering among different practices. This can be done by speaking with different practices and gauge what they feel about the software. By doing this, practices can brace themselves for any backlogs that are caused by the software.
Cost of the software
Along with the initial investment, there are numerous long-term costs that an EHR software for mental health is bound to have. This includes the likes of hardware costs, interfaces, training, networking, and support resources. Moreover, these costs also exclude any additional plugins that the practice might want with the software. It is imperative for practices to see the costs, and how the returns on the investment are going to take place.
One of the crucial aspects that define the success of EHR software for mental health is its degree of customizability. Practices must speak with the providers and see how the software can be tinkered with to best meet the demands of the practice.
Medical practices must choose the EHR software with their long-term objectives in mind. It is also of paramount importance for practices to look at the long-term objectives of the software and how that translates with the practice’s vision.
So, what are the key features of an EHR software for mental health?
Given the different sets of requirements, every medical practice has, an EHR software for mental health must have a few sets of features that are aligned accordingly.
Here are the five features are extremely pivotal for EHR software for mental health:
- Billing coordination
- Care coordination
- Medication monitoring and management
- Patient engagement
- Clinical decision support tools
While there is an overwhelming number of options available in the market, an EHR software for mental health must have the aforementioned 5 aspects. Additionally, good software also allows practitioners to track client health history, track patient progress through psychotherapy notes, record previous diagnoses, and outline a treatment plan for the patients. Having these factors together makes an EHR software for mental health an all-encompassing software.
Owing to these facets, an EHR software for mental health can cost anywhere between $15,000 to $70,000 per provider. Numerous factors additionally, like the type of software along with the add-ons in the form of features, plugins all can modify the cost of the software. Some specific needs like the size of the practice, personal preferences, and client requirements can all come into play when choosing software and its subsequent cost.
At the crux of it, a medical practice must choose an EHR software based on the features, the cost, and other pertinent facets. But when it comes to choosing an EHR software for mental health, practitioners have to look beyond these customary aspects. They must consider the clientele and how the EHR can help them in rendering elevated personalized care. Looking at it from this perspective can also help practices meet their vision and mission statement both through short-term and long-care care.