What I Learned From Vegas, Baby
by Leigh-Ann Renz, 3.9.16
Yes, it’s true: in the midst of the non-stop stimuli and sensory overload of Las Vegas, I learned some important lessons. Not just about conferences and how we as a vendor can improve our delivery - to help put PIMSY in front of the mental health providers who are looking for a solution - but also as a consumer.
National Council for Behavioral Health Conference
The recent National Council for Behavioral Health conference was just as fun as last year’s; maybe even more so due to the high energy location, and it was wonderful to connect with other vendors, PIMSY clients, and providers.
A respectful competitive comparison sharpens our skills, when we see what other EHR vendors are doing and how we can integrate customer options to provide the best product and services. Connecting with other non-EHR vendors is inspiring: it lets us contemplate what certain partnerships could offer our clients.
Most importantly, it’s invaluable for us to hear from clinicians what’s happening in their world: frustrations with their current system, anxiety about changes in funding, and hopeful inspiration for new modalities to treat their clients. PIMSY was literally built by understanding the pain points and in-the-trenches needs of our first client, a behavioral health care practice.
In 2006, the owners of a local mental health agency approached our CEO, asking him to build a practice management system from the ground up. They hated the program they were on and couldn’t find a mental health EHR that was user-friendly, affordable, flexible, and comprehensive. They gave our CEO their practice wish list and asked him to craft a program that would truly meet their needs.
Built for the End User
There is something invaluable about using a product that was literally created with the end user’s pain points in mind. The hotel we stayed at in Las Vegas was incredibly swanky: sleek, modern, immaculate, impressive. Apparently that’s just how they do hotels in Vegas, baby. But after the first day, I started to notice that little details for missing.
It was so sleek and modern that there wasn’t a hook on which to hang the hand-drying towel. While there was a gorgeous, well-lit vanity area, there wasn’t an outlet nearby – so to blow dry my hair, I had to stand on the other side of the bathroom, with a cord that barely stretched to the mirror and threatened to knock over the sculpted glasses on the counter. While the room was gorgeous, the people who designed it hadn’t considered the true day-to-day needs of the people who would be using it.
What Matters Is How Useful It Is to You
It doesn’t matter how beautiful – or powerful – a product is, at the end of the day, its usefulness is dependent on your needs and whether or not it fulfills them.
You can use a mental health EMR that looks good on paper, but if it wasn’t designed with the end-user in mind, you’re likely to end up baffled at best, or frustrated at worst, at its inefficiency to satisfy your goals.
While every practice is different, there are common themes in mental health:
- the need to manage authorizations
- the necessity of flexibility in session notes
- the requirement to submit documents in a particular format
- the demand for reliable reporting
PIMSY Was Created (and Evolves) Based on User Feedback
We work with every single client to determine what their agency goals are, how they want to use PIMSY, and how we can put it to most effective use for them. Each practice receives a tailored roll-out plan, to ensure a smooth implementation and transition. In training, users are taught how to customize PIMSY to their needs.
Just as PIMSY was built from the ground up with the end-user in mind, we offer complimentary updates about three times a year: all of the enhancements are based on the feedback of current clients. Our system isn’t static; it’s literally always evolving according to the end-users’ needs. We talk to billers, front-desk staff, administrators, and clinicians to find out what they wish PIMSY could do – and use that feedback as a baseline to enhance the system.
In Vegas, both experiencing the end-user / designer disconnect – and being able to hear daily pain points directly from clinicians – is inspiring us to further refine our product and services for practices nationwide.
Our original vision to “help people helping people” is what drives us to excellence, every single day.