EHR and practice management for mental / behavioral health

What Does a Substance Use Facility Need in an EHR?

by Jerica Rossi, 10.5.18

When it comes to substance use treatment, an EHR is instrumental in fostering better care coordination and improving clinical care. In order to meet the demands of addiction rehabilitation facilities, an EHR must account for both the operational needs of the agency – and unique functional needs for clients, such as IOP (intensive outpatient) and inpatient-specific options. 

One of the main challenges for substance use treatment is coordination of care within the organization across multiple services and providers. This means SU organizations typically need EMR features such as ePrescribing, Decision Support, and Lab Integration.

They also often look for certified programs that qualify them to participate in programs like Meaningful Use, MACRA, MIPS, etc. 

PIMSY offers all of the above-mentioned functionality, plus also provides streamlined data entry, robust electronic billing and customizable organization-wide reporting + accountability tools.      

Here’s our list of Substance Use-specific functionality that you should look for in an EHR:

Bed Management 

When it comes to inpatient-specific features, you need to be able to see the real-time status of all patient clients in your agency and create a daily bed attendance log and daily notes for everyone in the program, easily and efficiently.

With PIMSY’s color-coded bed management screen, you can quickly + easily schedule beds, maintain a waiting list and determine when a space should become available. 

Comprehensive Session Notes: Assessment, Progress, Group and Team

Treatment for SUDs often requires integrated case management, which means that record-tracking; follow-up plans of care; and the development of performance indicators in a shared clinical decision-making platform are all essential to effective treatment. 

Strong note management capabilities in a practice management software help to: monitor a client’s progress, avoid redundant treatment and ensure that all of the information + authorization management associated with a client’s chart are integrated and easily accessible. 


E-Prescribing allows physicians, medical practitioners and psychiatrists to electronically send prescriptions to a pharmacy instead of having to fax or call it in. Connecting the point of care directly to the pharmacy improves communication and collaboration; decreases the risk of medical error or prescription fraud; minimizes the risk of drug-to-drug or drug allergy interaction; and improves medication adherence.

When integrated with an EMR, you can manage medications, view patient history and send prescriptions – all from one place! If you are a psychiatrist or a clinician who is responsible for prescribing medication, your practice may benefit greatly from e-prescribing. 

PIMSY has been partnered with H2H Solutions for e-Prescribing since 2011, as part of our ONC-ACB Meaningful Use Certification, and utilizes their Digital RX (DRx). DRx is a two-way electronic communication with the pharmacy which means that not only will the pharmacy receive the scripts electronically, but if the pharmacist has a question or issue, they can send that info back thru the DRx electronically. 

PIMSY is 2014 Edition certified, is in the process of becoming 2015 Edition certified and continues to offer comprehensive electronic prescribing to enhance efficiency and workflow for your agency. 

Clinical Decision Support

Decision Support is customizable to your specs and can be deployed across multiple areas of the system. When entering your data into PIMSY, decision support automatically pops up- alerting you to client care data. *Not available in all PIMSY plans.


Using PIMSY’s eMAR capabilities, you can track exactly which medications are administered to which client: by whom, where, and when. Not only does the eMAR feature give you total medication accountability, but it reduces administrative errors and decreases documentation time. 

With built in inventory and tracking, eMar allows a facility to track the med bottles, auto-decrement the bottle counts according to what has been dosed, and allows for matching of manual bottle counts to the system counts. For organizations that work directly with a pharmacy, or have an onsite pharmacy, this tracking can be linked to the original package all the way down to the individual pills. Bar code scanning technology is integrated with this feature.

HIPAA-Compliant Telehealth

To assist long distance client-clinician contact, PIMSY has partnered with Secure Video to offer integrated HIPAA-compliant telehealth services. This capability allows you to conduct a session right from your PIMSY calendar and sends automatic meeting invitations to your clients for seamless scheduling.

Lab Integration

With lab integration, you can pull lab result files directly into your practice management software, flag any criteria you want to monitor (such as having all positive drug tests show up red in the results) and can pull global reports based off those results. With PIMSY, you can attach the results to the client chart without having to scan, type, or otherwise enter data.

UB-04 Billing

UB-04 billing is a type of billing an institutional provider can use for the reimbursement of medical and mental health claims. Billing for IOP and inpatient services is a very unique functionality that some EHRs do not consider when creating their billing rules and procedures but can be a valuable function in an EMR. 

PIMSY can seamlessly process and easily accommodate the special needs of all UB-04 billing, allowing full control over the type of bill, attending provider and rev code specifics for all inpatient claims including residential facilities, IOP/PHP services and other institutional claims.

Secure Hosting

Personal Health Information (PHI) security and HIPAA compliance is important for any agency, but especially crucial for substance use facilities. In order to protect your data and ensure compliance, an EHR should have secure hosting that adheres to HIPAA and HITECH protocols; encrypts communications and operation processes; blocks unauthorized traffic; and manages threats. 

PIMSY hosts all data on Microsoft Azure with Cloud services to provide solid data encryption and security. This means that your client and practice data is being backed up, multiple times daily, to one of the world’s most secure Cloud providers, at three of their different geo-locations.

Take Away


(Photo: Burst via Unsplash)

Jerica Rossi is a Marketing Associate of PIMSY EHR.


Jerica Rossi is a Marketing Associate of PIMSY EHR. For more information about electronic solutions for your practice, check out Behavioral Health Practice Management Software.


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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

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