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Often referred to as therapy software, mental health and behavioral health electronic health record software is concerned with assisting the clinical, administrative and financial functions of a mental health practice. Mental health treatment involves copious note taking and observation. An EMR geared towards mental and behavioral health needs to keep its unique requirements in mind.
Specific Templates – Templates assist in SOAP note taking during consultations by illuminating the need to type in diagnoses or symptoms that are encountered on a daily basis. Because some mental health practitioners only cater to a specific demographic or subspecialty these templates should be customizable to their needs. Some of the templates specific to mental health are:
ICD/CPT Coding – Because mental health practitioners cater to a specific specialty they don’t need the additional clutter of codes not relating to their specialty. esigned for behavioral health provides codes relating to mental health, making billing accurate and fast.
GAF Charts – These help practitioners monitor the severity of mental or behavioral factors with a graphical depiction of ongoing progress, rating the social, occupational and psychological functioning of a patient through Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF).
Advanced Note Taking – Because mental health is primarily observation and note taking the electronic medical record support needs to help enhance this function. Through app support electronic medical record can be accessed on handheld devices and notes taken through e-pen capabilities. Mental health EMR should also support speech recognition for hands-free note taking, for greater patient satisfaction.
e-Prescribing – For quicker prescription processing and renewal, e-prescribing creates an interface that allows practitioners to prescribe, change prescriptions and renew prescriptions with a touch of a button.
Referrals and Secure Messaging – Mental health EHR (electronic health record) should support secure messaging. This allows discreet sharing of patient files for referrals or in case a patient chooses to change doctors.
How to Choose Mental Health EHR Software
There are countless mental health EHR vendors that provide the software you need. To narrow the selection down to those that fill your requirements as a specialty as well as a medical practice you need to keep a few things in mind.
Size – Some vendors cater better to large practices while some are best suited to smaller ones. EMR systems are designed keeping a certain number of users, scalability and support required in mind. When selecting a vendor keep in mind the size of your practice.
System Design – The choice, essentially, is between installation of the software in your on-site computer server, or cloud-based software that is available anywhere via Internet. Which system a practice goes for depends on their personal choice and comfort level. Some doctors feel more comfortable having the system on their computer server because they feel this is more compliant with HIPAA requirements, while others need to have access to their database wherever they are. You’ll need to shortlist vendors who fulfill your needs in this department.
Certification – It makes sense to make sure the software you’re going to purchase is certified. For behavioral health the certification you should be looking out for is by the ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Body (“ONC-ATCB”). They are responsible for making sure your vendor meets Meaningful Use objectives and is HIPAA compliant.
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