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Stephen O'Connor

By: Stephen O'Connor on September 16th, 2015

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The Pros of Having Mental Health EMR Software

Electronic Health Records

shutterstock_294379424When utilized and maintained properly, behavioral and mental health electronic medical records (EMR) strengthen patient-doctor relationships and support clinical and care-related activities. Centralizing all relevant data in a secure, paper-less environment enables quality of care management, outcomes reporting and decision support.

Reducing Medical Errors

Mental health EMR software solutions may be customized to include administrative clinical data, including medications, vital signs, familial medical history, demographics and lab reports. Automated technology provides access to information that allows improved clinician workflow and financial resource allocation. Myriad support tools help providers make better decisions and provide better care.

Integrated systems reduce medical errors by improving the clarity. Behavioral health service providers benefit from a highly-customized system that doesn’t require multiple entries for the same data, reducing the potential for human error across all departments from billing and collections to pharmacy dispensing units and laboratories.

Overcoming Diagnosing and Treatment Delays

Making health information available in digital format reduces costs associated with pulling files, copying, collating and distributing records, and care delivery delays when paper records are misplaced or lost in transit. Role-based access ensures only pre-qualified users gain access to patient files, while real-time information sharing aids in faster diagnosis and treatment. Mobile compatibility features allow immediate access and coordination of care from the office, the hospital, and other mental health care settings.

Communicating with Patients

Making health information available to patients via online records portals and integrated messaging systems means patients are better informed and empowers individuals to participate in their own health care. Standard and customizable templates allow providers to mail, email or fax appointment reminders, laboratory results, discharge summaries and other essential information to keep patients engaged and encourage compliance.

Streamlining Patient Engagement and Documentation

The DSM-5-CM allows psychiatrists and other mental healthcare providers to accurately code disorders and events. Precise diagnosis enables more effective treatment plans and improves outcome potential. Similarly, Mental Health EMR software streamlines the documentation process with forms, templates and click-to-populate features designed to improve the accuracy and clarity patient files. Software capabilities that allow pulling patient information from health records on demand, viewing referral status and authorizations to prevent “un-billable” appointments and IVR voice technology to remind patients about appointments all improve patient experience and reduce operating expenses.

Conclusion: Mental Health EMR Strengthens Relationships

There are ongoing challenges to overcome as providers strive to adjust to electronic health records, Meaningful Use standards and new coding requirements. Some behavioral specialists fear the digital record keeping systems prevent them from seeing physical clues patients send during appointments, especially during assessment and intake encounters. However, Mental Health EMR software enables efficient communication, accurate records maintenance, reduces financial burdens associated with administrative tasks and encourages patients to actively participate in their own health management plan.

Key Takeaways

Mental Health EMR benefits include:

  • Fewer human data entry errors
  • Reduction in duplicate testing
  • Efficient communication with peers and patients
  • Better informed patients
  • Streamlined administrative processes
  • Lower operating costs
  • Customizable to practice specialty and patient population

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About Stephen O'Connor

As a Director of Digital Marketing at Advanced Data Systems Corporation, Stephen spends his day's planning, writing, & designing resources for the modern healthcare professional. He has a strong affinity for snow crab legs, the ocean, and Rutgers Football.