EHR Customer Survey Results: The 3 Most Important Goals of Mental Health Organizations

Valant strives to improve the experience of behavioral health care professionals. Enabling clinicians through innovative software solutions not only creates positive vendor-client relationships, it contributes to the larger goal of improved population health. As such, customer feedback is very important.

Valant surveyed members of its customer base in 2015; one of the purposes of the survey was to gain a better understanding of the organizational goals among Valant’s clients. Several practice owners, clinicians, and administrative staff members all gave candid responses to what those goals were. Surprisingly, there appeared to be very little variance between answers given. Of all the responses collected, the information could be categorized into just three broader groups that are listed in following.

Addressing Care Goals with EHR

Of the customers interviewed, several stated that care-related goals were the highest priority. These goals encompassed several areas within the broader idea of improved clinical care, such as moving towards fully integrated care and increasing clinical hours.

Valant provides robust EHR functionality to help behavioral healthcare organizations make the most out of their time. Without the right EHR in place, it is common for organizations to encounter workflow bottlenecks. From data entry to collaborating with external resources or patients, certain tasks eat up a lot of time when addressed manually. Software offers automation of complex processes to ease organizations through points of workflow friction. Care providers that spend less time navigating such challenges are able to devote more to providing care.

Behavioral healthcare providers often outsource several of the business-critical tasks that fall outside of care itself, such as billing, for instance. For some organizations it makes more sense from an economic standpoint, and for others, perhaps it is simply a matter of convenience. For those that wish take a more integrated approach to care, Valant offers several additional features to its already robust EHR. Peripheral features like an integrated billing system, treatment planning tool, and patient portal are available in the Valant suite to reduce the reliance on external resources and reduce turnaround times between claims submission and receipt of payment.

Reaching business goals with EHR

Another significant percentage of survey respondents cited business-related goals as most important. These included examples such as avoiding audits and becoming a choice employer for the industry’s best talent.

Audits are a concern for any business operating under regulatory requirements. In the behavioral healthcare industry, having to manage an audit means drawing time and resources away from patients (thus, billable hours). Though compliance is ultimately up to the organization itself, the right EHR can ensure that processes within software are compliant with federal and state regulations. Valant works in close collaboration with our clients and the standards of care, regulations, and subregulatory guidance that they might be subjected to, facilitating the necessary processes or procedures required for regulatory compliance.

The best behavioral healthcare professionals will naturally gravitate toward the best behavioral healthcare organizations—the same can be said about any other industry. Part of making any business successful is ironing out areas of inefficiency and waste throughout the organization’s workflows. For a behavioral healthcare provider, the right EHR provides automation, consistency, and accuracy in the day-to-day. Clinical staff spend less time toiling with manual data entry, making phone calls for appointment reminders, or writing out paper notes and prescriptions.

Meeting institutional goals with EHR

The remainder of responders (about one third), when asked what their most important organization goal was, recalled their respective organization’s mission statement. This was an important gut check for us.

In the focus to help organizations manage costs and navigate complicated processes and workflows, it is equally important to be mindful of each client’s sense of mission. Behavioral healthcare is about more than providing good care while maintaining a sound business model. Psychiatric clinics and therapy centers are integral to communities. These institutions strive to become community staples—not only through the provision of mental health care, but in discovering best practices and furthering the effort to improve treatment.

An EHR system is not a free ticket to achieving that degree of renown, admittedly. But it is an important part of the process nonetheless. Organizations realize their mission goals by providing positive outcomes for their respective communities. This means care providers must be unimpeded in their work as much as possible. Any workflow is going to have pain points—there is simply no getting around it. But with a quality EHR in place, behavioral healthcare providers can stay closer to their patients.

Conclusion

Part of maintaining good vendor-client relationships is helping customers achieve their goals. This customer survey was important to understand how Valant can help its client base get to where they want to be organizationally.

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