What I Learned From Vegas, Baby
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 an EHR vendor can improve what we offer – but also as a consumer.
In the Field
As long as the days sitting at a booth can be, it’s always wonderful to connect with others in the world of behavioral health: fellow vendors, our customers, and clinicians. Respectful competitive comparison sharpens our skills, when we see what other mental health EHRs are offering and get inspired about how we can provide the best possible product & services. Connecting with non-EHR vendors also piques our interest: it lets us contemplate what new partnerships & collaborations could offer our customers.
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 promising new modalities to treat their clients. PIMSY was literally built from understanding the pain pain points and in-the-trenches needs of our first client, a behavioral health care agency.
In 2006, the owners of a local mental health agency approached our CEO, asking him to build a mental health EHR from the ground up. They hated the program they were on and couldn’t find a system that was user-friendly, truly designed for the needs of behavioral health agencies. They gave our CEO, who was working as a coder, their program wish list and asked him to create a system from scratch to 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 niche 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 were 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. In order for something to truly serve its customers, it must be efficient & functional, not just sleek or eye-catching.
How Useful Is It to You?
It doesn’t matter how beautiful or flashy a product is; at the end of the day, its usefulness is wholly dependent on your needs and whether or not it fulfills them. You can use a mental health EHR that looks good on paper – or has a rocking website to promote it – 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 agency 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
Does the System Continue to Evolve?
Another trend we see in mental health EHR is systems that were solid when built – but that fail to grow and evolve over time. Healthcare is constantly changing, as it should! As research continues to update our understanding of the human body and mind, our methodology to treat it advances and evolves. Standards of both diagnosis and treatment change over time, and any EHR should reflect these updates.
Just as PIMSY was built from the ground up with the end-user in mind, it is continually improving to meet the news of our customers. We offer complimentary system updates about once a month, and all of the enhancements are based on the feedback of our current clients.
Unlike many other systems, PIMSY isn’t static: it’s literally evolving according to our 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 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 agencies nationwide. It’s what drives us to excellence, every single day.
To see how PIMSY can help you be more efficient, effective, and profitable in your agency, contact us: 877.334.8512, ext 1 – firstname.lastname@example.org