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5 Things You Need To Know About EHR’s in 2015

By January 12, 2015September 8th, 2021No Comments

1. Just like healthcare specialties, no two EHRs are built the same.

You are a specialist, an expert in your field. You have spent years cultivating your understanding of behavioral healthcare. So why adopt an Electronic Health Record that isn’t as dedicated to this industry as you are? When the stakes are high, you must demand a precise solution that will make life easier, and not more difficult.

An EHR that lives and breathes behavioral healthcare understands that you do not have time to wade through documentation templates and billing codes irrelevant to your practice and clients. A specialty EHR will help you save time, rather than create more work for you and your staff.

2. Yes, you really can save time with an EHR!

Let’s face it: there’s not enough time in the day. Between patient visits, insurance panels, continuing education, and calls to other providers, it’s a wonder you can sneak in a sandwich between appointments. The introduction of an EHR to the mix seems almost too much to bear for many of us.

Still, before you run for the hills, try not to focus on the short-term operational challenges you and your colleagues will face with new software. Instead, consider the opportunities that the right system should present to improve operational efficiency. With commitment to adoption, implementation, and workflow redesign, your practice will save time.

  • No more chart chasing: all of your client records are available in one place
  • Streamline patient visits: send screeners and history forms prior to appointment
  • Minimize input errors and curtail denied claims
  • Reduce data input: stop repeating yourself by storing and pre-filling frequently used information
  • Send prescriptions electronically: it only takes a couple of clicks

3. Your EHR can improve your patient’s quality of care!

According to the National Institutes of Health, individuals with several mental illnesses have higher rates of mortality from physical illnesses (such as diabetes, asthma & COPD, and hypertension); yet, there are few systems that facilitate collaboration across internal medicine and behavioral healthcare practices.
As our country reevaluates its approach to healthcare, it is vital that you look to an Electronic Health Record system specifically designed to increase collaboration between primary care providers and behavioral healthcare professionals. A key component is communication. For many specialists in a primary care setting, communication is taken care of. However, for a majority of behavioral healthcare professionals in specialty practices, it is an extra burden to try to chase down your patient’s other healthcare providers. An EHR built to bridge this gap will not only save the time of all specialists involved, it will assure a direct impact on your patient’s quality of care.
(Read Valant’s CEO David Lischner, MD, further discuss the potential for EHR’s to bridge the communication gap in December’s issue of Managed Care Outlook, Volume 27, Number 23.)

4. Measure your patients’ outcomes with ease.

Psychiatrists and psychologists alike have been slow to adopt outcome measurement into their practice. With the latest healthcare reform and the push towards an integrated care model, we cannot stress enough how important measures are for both your practice and your patients. And, just like all aspects of your day-to-day workflow, the right EHR will help you.
Look for a system that understands the need for specialty specific questionnaires, screeners, and measures. Better still, insist on an integrated system that allows you to send these measures to your client prior to intake via a patient portal. This will not only fast-track that initial (often paperwork heavy) assessment process, but you will be able to see over time how your patient has progressed–indeed, the overall outcome of your treatment.
This will not only validate your own hard work throughout the treatment process, but with your patient’s permission, will also grant you the ability to share your data with other providers also involved in their treatment plan, improving your patient’s overall quality of care.

5. You can generate a return on investment!

Demonstrating ROI on an EHR implementation may seem challenging, especially for smaller and solo practices. Indeed, you must take into account the costs while also recognizing the effect of implementation upon productivity, especially in those first days when providers and staff are still trying to get their heads around the change.

Still, despite these costs, achieving a return on investment really is a realistic goal – even for the smallest practice! It’s important to note here that studies on this very topic don’t shy away from emphasizing the need to “strive to arrive”.

(HIMSS published an EMR Cost Benefit Analysis designed by EMR Medical Director, M. Zaroukian, MD, PhD.) http://www.himss.org/files/himssorg/content/files/emrcost-benefitreality.pdf

In other words, no matter how large your practice, if you put in the time in those early stages of implementation (and a serious EHR vendor will help you each step of the way!), you will revel in true efficiency gains and increases in revenue. Specifically, these increases will arise via more accurate and higher level coding, as well as the ability to see additional patients due to the time you save by using an EHR.

Link to Calculator: ROI Calculator

To find out how Valant can help you save time, improve quality of care for your patients, and increase revenue, call us today!