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Why Consider Electronic Health Records?

PUBLISHED ON: 03.03.2016

Utilizing Electronic Health Records can offer many benefits, especially for mental & behavioral health and substance use agencies. In addition to the obvious perk of reducing paper waste, utilizing EHR can:

– increase productivity by providing clear analytics
– minimize redundancy of data
–  improve client care
– connect the various departments of an agency in a cohesive workflow
– streamline reporting
– maximize remittance
– and much more, depending on your unique needs and the program implemented

Staff Analytics, Metrics, and Reporting

One of EHR’s most powerful benefits is that it can provide analytics you need about your  clinicians’ productivity and habits. Mental health EHR should offer tracking & reporting to see: how many clients a provider sees in a particular time frame; how many notes they still need to complete; if they tend to be late in releasing their notes; and more.

This type of data is vital for the health of the organization and can enhance the efficiency of services. It enables management to identify any areas of weakness or challenge, to better support your providers’ success. Without knowing where the challenges lie, you can’t empower your clinicians with the needed tools, support, training, or accountability to meet their deliverables.

Reporting & tracking also encourages management to recognize and reward team members who are excelling: it eliminates the murkiness of typical performance reviews and offers concrete verification for staff promotion or assistance. All of these tools give you enhanced, measurable control over the daily operations of your organization and can empower it to truly thrive.

Connecting All the Pieces

With PIMSY, when a client checks in, the front desk staff can: take a payment; print a statement; check insurance eligibility; make sure the intake packet is complete; and get any needed documents signed – right from the calendar. All of the data that pertains to financial history; payments; eligibility verification; the client check list; and the client chart is right there, in real time, at the fingertips of the person interacting with the patient.

Past the front desk, the billing in PIMSY is driven by session notes. Providers can create a progress or assessment note right from the calendar – and if the authorizations are not available for the session, they won’t be able to use that CPT code! It won’t even show up, helping to ensure that you only bill for eligible sessions. As clinicians release session notes, the authorizations are automatically decremented.

On the billing side, all of those session notes have automatically been converted into invoices, ready to be billed. Since the notes also contain lots of other details, such as the length of the session; the payer to be billed; client & provider sign off (as needed); etc, there is no invoice to be created. It’s already been generated by the note itself.

All the biller has to do is verify the details, batch the invoices, and send them electronically for reimbursement.

Cohesion, Efficiency, Reporting

You can see how this type of data sharing among the various departments of an agency connects all the pieces into a cohesive whole, streamlining workflow by reducing the need for duplicate information entry. Tasks that once took hours or even days can be reduced to a few button clicks, because all the information is already linked & integrated.

This can make reporting a breeze. With a robust EHR, you can seamlessly extrapolate that connected data into detailed reports that give you both a bird’s eye view of operations – and lets you drill down into the nitty gritty details. Try doing that on paper!

Heads Up!

While implementing EHR can be very beneficial, there are a few things to be aware of when considering systems:free guide to electronic systems for behavioral health

– Quality

It can be hard to measure, but try to make sure that any program you consider is a good fit for your agency’s unique needs. With the large amount of software currently available, it’s more possible than ever to find a system that truly supports your organization’s workflow.

– High Level Training

A powerful tool like mental health EHR is only as useful as your ability to wield it effectively & efficiently. As you talk to EHR vendors, find out how they handle training: is it included in the price? Is it organized by department? Does every employee have to attend? Consider the reality of re-training your team on completely new processes – and then find out how the vendor supports that challenge.

– Sound & Straightforward Implementation

Switching from paper (or a legacy EHR) to a new electronic system in a thriving practice is akin to changing the tire on a moving car. Make sure that any EHRs you consider can produce a validated process for the implementation transition. Ask for references who can vouch for the EHR’s ability to assist in this complex process.

Mental Health EHR Resources

For more things to consider when considering behavioral health EHR, visit our EHR Resource Center. For more details about PIMSY, check out our demo video – or contact us: 877.334.8512, ext 1 ||


Leigh-Ann Renz

Leigh-Ann Renz

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 EHR.

Author: pehradmin

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