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EHR and practice management for mental / behavioral health

Do Your Research! (Part 1)

Mental health practice management system / software / program

by Marisa Thompson + Leigh-Ann Renz, 1.27.18

Behavioral Health is Unique – its Practice Management is too!

All EHRs are not created equal – and this is especially true of mental health EHRs! Unfortunately, behavioral health seems to be the red-headed stepchild of the EMR world.

Mental health providers are notoriously resistant to migrate to an electronic system; and once they are ready to make the change, there are a ton of systems to weed through.

With the advent of Meaningful Use, a lot of programs were slapped together in the past six to seven years, to try and capture the federal incentive funds. Sadly, many of these systems don’t support the daily reality of the clinicians using them: they’re cumbersome at best; and mental health functionality is often an afterthought, if considered at all.

The need for efficiency, easy integration among departments, data security, and especially mental-health specific features were often sacrificed in the rush to create many programs. How can you be a smart shopper? In our humble opinion, here are the key elements that a mental health EHR should include:

Mental Health EHR Checklist

1. Authorization tracking and management which allows multiple decrement actions

For any provider whose client base isn’t entirely self-pay, authorizations are the lynchpin of your business. Without authorizations, you don’t get paid! A behavioral health EHR with a solid authorization management tool is crucial; one that allows multiple decrement actions is invaluable.

2. Easy ICD / DSM diagnosing

Although the ICD / DSM storm has passed, having access to tools that support easy diagnosis remains essential. Selecting the right code is often straightforward – but sometimes challenging. It’s better to have dependable resources and not need them than the other way around.

3. Treatment Plan that integrates with the progress notes

In PIMSY, the treatment plan is seamlessly integrated with the progress notes: you can easily pop it into the body of your note with the click of a button and then build onto it, based on what happens in session. Look for a mental health EHR that includes this functionality for ease of charting – and to efficiently provide supporting documentation for audits / payers.

4. Reporting functions for every field across the entire system

Here’s the beauty of an EHR: it should eliminate duplicate data processing. For example, instead of having to comb through a list of client records to determine who no-showed for an appointment in the past month, you should be able to simply run a report from your EHR that pulls this data from the calendar.

Any EMR you’re considering should pull information from every field across the entire system, turning practice data into usable information. It’s precisely this usability of data that makes using an EHR more efficient than paper: the information you input into any part of the system can be collated and measured easily + effectively.

5. Profile management for different levels of security for staff access

In this day and age of expensive HIPAA breaches, limiting staff to only the areas they need access to can be critical. PIMSY’s profile security lets you control exactly what your employees can see or do in the system.

For example, if you decide you don't want to allow your biller access to the client notes, you can set PIMSY to not allow it! Or, if you don't want a clinician to have access to a chart for a patient that hasn’t been assigned to them, you control that with a few clicks! PIMSY empowers you set whatever security parameters you choose.

In addition, PIMSY provides tracking for every action in the system – so if a question arises, it can tell you who performed an action and when.

6. Audit management for tracking access, changes, etc.

Similar to profile management, audit management provides real-time data about actions performed in the program. A practice can be taken down by audit complications, so having clear and reliable audit management tools is incredibly important. EHRs that offer flexibility within those management tools – so you can track exactly what you need + want to see for your payers and internal analytics - is an added bonus.

Stay tuned for more critical components of practice management software for mental + behavioral health. To see how PIMSY fulfills every single one of these items, contact us: 877.334.8512, ext 1 – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Leigh-Ann Renz is the Marketing & Business Development Director of PIMSY EHR. For more information about electronic solutions for your practice, check out Behavioral Health EHR


Leigh-Ann Renz is the Marketing & Business Development Director of PIMSY EHR. For more information about electronic solutions for your practice, check out Mental Health Practice Management Software




Marisa Thompson is the Sales Manager for PIMSY mental health EHRMarisa Thompson is currently PIMSY's Sales Director, but prior to taking that role, she both used PIMSY at an agency as an end-user - and then joined our Support Department as an employee. She knows PIMSY inside and out and has put it to work from every possible angle.

In addition, she is a HIPAA Privacy Officer and has extensive knowledge about HIPAA, practice management, and practice needs, from front desk to clinician. In addition to leading the Sales Team, she is regularly called upon for consultation with Marketing, Management, Development, and Support.  

Kudos from Clients

  • Seth H.

    “PIMSY more than pays for itself by streamlining my office, improving efficiency and reducing billing times. I would recommend PIMSY to anyone looking for a good EMR company that will help you implement its program and help you with any questions you have along the way.”

    ~ Seth H., Business Owner

  • Karen B.

    “Love PIMSY! So much quicker to complete notes and easier for everyone working with clients to know current authorizations and track units.”

    ~ Karen B., Therapist

  • Dr. Carmen L.

    “I am extremely appreciative and am so glad I decided to go with PIMSY versus the other options I was considering. I was singing your praises to a colleague of mine today who is feeling overwhelmed with her paper process. I highly recommend all of you.”

    ~ Dr. Carmen L., Program Director

  • Kim T.

    “We are now functioning at a 50% faster recovery rate for money and a 50% lower denial rate. You should really give the PIMSY team time to demonstrate for you personally.”

    ~ Kim T., Business Director

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