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Archive for December, 2014

Top 5 Ways Mental Health EHR Software Will Make Your Practice More Efficient

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Behavioral health organizations differ significantly from traditional medical practices in the ways in which they provide care. Many clinics are equipped to provide both residential and outpatient care and offer a variety of services ranging from one-on-one counseling to group therapy to training programs.

As a result of the complexities and differing workflows within the behavioral health specialty, organizations have been slow to adopt Mental Health EHR software, which tends not to meet the full spectrum of behavioral health needs. This is changing, however, due to the availability of new solutions in the market that make it easier for providers to better manage their day-to-day operations, improve care delivery and reduce costs.

At 1st Providers Choice, we are keenly attuned to the needs of behavioral health organizations and have developed a Mental Health EHR solution that meets the specialty’s diverse requirements. Our software allows practices to improve efficiency in the following ways:

1. Streamlined workflow

In a traditional medical setting, it is customary for the patient to see a medical assistant or registered nurse before the provider, but in a mental health setting the provider is often the patient’s first point of contact. This change in workflow has been accounted for in our Mental Health EHR Software, allowing behavioral health organizations to deliver and document care in exactly the way that they are used to doing it.

2. Quicker access to patient data

Not only does our software prevent interruptions in care, but it facilitates the retrieval of important clinical data that influences the treatment process. This includes past and current medications, diagnoses and more. Providers can access data on-the-go from an Internet-enabled smartphone or tablet, allowing care to be delivered both onsite and at offsite locations, such as a hospital or residential facility.

3. Better scheduling

For behavioral health organizations using Mental Health EHR software, appointment scheduling has never been easier. Our software accounts for the fact that staff must be able to manage and schedule patients at different facilities and office locations. Additionally, we allow for the creation of custom appointments – from single-patient therapy sessions to group counseling sessions in which multiple patients may be scheduled.

4. Simplified information sharing

Mental Health EHR software enables behavioral health providers to instantly share data regarding a patient’s diagnosis and treatment to other caregivers invested in the patient’s health. This results in dramatic improvements in care delivery and patient outcomes. Only authorized users may be given access, ensuring the patient’s privacy is respected.

5. Mental health-specific patient portal integration

The ability to easily integrate the EHR software with a patient portal allows many time-consuming administrative to be completed by the patient online. Giving patients the ability to schedule appointments online and request medication refills, for example, reduces the amount of time that staff members spend on the phone.

To learn more about these and other Mental Health EHR software benefits, call 480-782-1116 today.

Patient Engagement: Why You Need It & How a Patient Portal Can Help

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Optimizing the healthcare system to improve treatment outcomes and reduce health costs requires patient engagement, the process by which individuals become more active participants in their own health. Despite this, most healthcare organizations lack a patient engagement strategy, preventing patients from fully benefiting from available resources, such as patient education materials, care plan management tools and more.

Patient Engagement App

Patient engagement has become increasingly important, particularly to health organizations transitioning to a fee-for-value payment model and to those participating in Meaningful Use. The goals of both are to improve care quality and the patient experience while reducing the cost of care.

  • Fee-for-value: If your organization plans on transitioning to a value-based payment model, whether by joining an ACO, a shared savings program or a different type of organization that incentivizes value over volume, patient engagement will be key. Engaged patients are more likely to follow care plans, achieve health goals and have better treatment outcomes, which means they are also less likely to need hospitalization.
  • Meaningful Use: In order to successfully attest for Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use program, providers must get more than 5 percent of their patients to do the following: use secure electronic messaging to communicate with the provider on relevant health information; and view online, download or transmit their health information. With a well-designed patient engagement strategy, organizations can accomplish these goals and create more activated patients in the process.

Leveraging a Patient Portal for Patient Engagement

It is imperative, now more than ever, for organizations to actively promote engagement and implement technologies that facilitate patient-provider collaboration. However, many organizations struggle with this due to the fact that they lack resources for engagement or are unsure of where to start.

One easy way to jump-start an engagement strategy is to implement a patient portal and encourage patients to use it. Patient portal software makes communication easier (patients can send secure messages to their provider at any time), it gets patients thinking about their health outside the doctor’s office (they can access care plans and track vitals), and it contributes to overall satisfaction (patients can schedule appointments easily, request medication refills and pay their bills). It is also a tool that patients are ready and willing to use.