Benefits of Behavioral Health EMR Software for Clinicians and Practices
For clinics that treat behavioral health patients—particularly those that offer so-called specialty services such as substance abuse treatment and intensive outpatient programs (IOPs)—EHR systems can be especially beneficial. Here’s why:
Like most medical practices, these healthcare organizations have piles of paperwork that include everything from physicians’ progress notes to patients’ test results. But the software often lacks tools for dealing with behavioral health-specific documentation needs. Things like tracking substance abuse treatment milestones, evaluating symptoms of bipolar disorder, or measuring outcomes in an IOP are more complicated than recording physical signs and symptoms.
Specific benefits of behavioral health EMR software for mental health clinicians include:
- Time savings: HIPAA compliance and billing services can be streamlined with use of an EMR software system that will automatically calculate the number of visits, length of treatment, etc. Clinical documentation is made easier and faster because clinicians no longer need to type notes. This software also offers spellcheck during data entry which reduces errors in documentation because it eliminates the possibility of keystroke errors. The ability to easily generate a patient profile and print reports at any time provides significant time savings for clinicians on all levels when compared to hand-written notes or using paper charts.
- Data analysis: Because EMR Software allows users to track trends over time, mental health practices are able to garner useful insights into their patient population. For example, by tracking substance abuse treatment goals over time, clinics can gain valuable insights into patient success rates and adjust their treatment plans accordingly.
- Documentation streamlining: A skilled behavioral health clinician may see up to 30 patients per day in a clinical practice that offers specialty services such as intensive outpatient programs and substance abuse treatment. Because clinicians are required to document patient visits in detail, most of their day is spent typing notes into an EHR system rather than interacting with patients.
Learn more about how you can make your practice more efficient and productive with behavioral health EMR software.