14 responses

  1. Joe Viger
    February 8, 2011

    Thank you shining a light on Behavioral Health EHR’s! I work for The Echo Group, one of the largest behavioral health software vendors, and also sit on the board of the Software and Technology Vendors Association (SATVA). SATVA is the trade association for behavioral health and human service software vendors. I wanted to offer a couple of thoughts. First, let me refer readers to http://www.SATVA.org for information on behavioral health software vendors.
    Our experience is that the needs of behavioral health (BH) providers are quite different than that of medical practitioners. The tradition and regulations of clinical practice are dissimilar leading to real variation in needs for an EHR/EMR system. A few specific examples include the nature of the clinical assessment, a requirement for a specifically formatted treatment plans, progress note requirements and the nature of service authorization and billing. Additionally, many BH providers are subject to regulations that are highly specific to the State and/or County where they deliver services leading to specific requirements for demographic reporting and billing.
    It’s important to understand that while BH is considered a specialty in comparison to medical practice, there are a variety of specialties within BH. A list might include private practice, community mental health, psychiatric hospitals, children’s services/foster care, alcohol & drug treatment and organizations that work with folks who have developmental disabilities. In addition to challenges that medical practice software products would have in addressing the needs of BH providers, the listed sub-specialties create another level of complexity. In fact, some BH software products are better tuned for these sub-specialties than others. While there is movement to merge BH and medical practice both in terms of service delivery and health information technology, the needs are still quite divergent.
    SATVA and its member organizations have done extensive work on HIE both with technical development and stakeholder involvement and education. There is lots of good news about our industry’s ability to conduct HIE with a primary focus on the Continuity of Care Document. Rules that BH providers must comply with regarding consent to release the information is a major challenge. 42CFR is an example.

  2. John Wahlquist
    February 8, 2011

    What I have found is the mental health community is very protective of their information by nature. It takes a lot more show and tell training to have them see the benefit of the EMR. The clinics we have are child and family therapy. There are many forms and reporting requirements from the state and school districts that the EMR has templates for as well as free hand and voice recognition. Once embraced by the therapist they see that they have a wealth of comparative data across their patient base that they never had before. Once this light bulb is light there is no putting it out. Our product is fully integrated with the practice management and scheduling system and is web based. I think the rest of the health care industry has kind of forgotten about this valuable contribution to our health, maybe for the better. The less the government and regulators look at them the better off they are. The cost is another problem for the mental health industry. They can only see one patient an hour and the fee averages around 100.00 this is not much margin to work with for a clinic. We have worked out a per claim based fee that makes it reasonable for this client to move into the IT age. Thanks, John

  3. Anthony Subbiah
    February 9, 2011

    Interesting; yes each specialty is different. Especially be Behavioral is something that we did not even make an attempt at. Good information

  4. Anonymous
    February 10, 2011

    It is important to understand that BiH as a specialty from medical practice, there are a number of specialties in Bosnia-Herzegovina. There is much good news about the ability of our industry to implement HIE with an emphasis on continuity of care document.

  5. Tammie Borders
    February 13, 2011

    I am excited to see an post with regards to MH. Finding Software info specific to this specialty has been quite arduous. I’ve been researching for longer than I care to mention. If I knew then what I know now, it could have saved me a lot of time and staff hours.

    Below is a link to a site that really expedited my search in the right direction. It is from Behavioral Healthcare Magazine and they published a survey of MH ‘supposedly specific EMR/EHR vendors. I say supposedly, because there are few that are not specific, Netsmart and Accumedic are two of them.


    From my findings, I have determined that if you have both Prescribers and non-prescribers, ie. Social Workers, PhD’s, etc. it makes absolute sense to go with a MH specific vendor. The capabilities for the clinician are far beyond what can be done with a generalist program (even those that ‘dabble’ in Psych) The amount of money you would need to spend to have it customized to be even somewhat competitive with the specific software would make the generalist software pricing prohibitive. I’m not talking about just having a few templates/forms created for Psych but having multiple decision making support tools built-in and having the majority of notes, tests, etc ultimately supporting and creating the treatment plan. These are required in most MH Gov’t funded facilities and payors are increasingly putting the pressure on even the private clinician to provide the data in order to get either prior auths or to get paid.

    If however, you have a MH office that is Prescriber only, ie. Md’s, NPN then a generalist/ambulatory software with a few templates, etc may suffice. It would still behoove the prescriber to look at what they are missing in a MH specific software, but to me it is key for the non-prescriber to have MH specific software.

    To add to your list, I suggest readers also take a look at http://www.Civerex.com and http://www.Credibleinc.com for server based and webbased options.

  6. Karma Speir
    May 8, 2011

    Hm, So i am happy with this but nonetheless not wholly convinced, therefore i am about to research a bit more.

  7. Scott Dabbs
    June 28, 2011

    LWSI (Lavender & Wyatt Systems, Inc.) and IBM provide a complete integrated solution for Behavioral Health providers. The electronic medical records software solution, Essentia, is easy to use and helps providers drive new efficiencies resulting in improved client care and increased revenue.
    Essentia supports the complete organization by integrating Administrative, Human Services, Electronic Medical Records and Business Intelligence into one web-based application. In addition, LWSI offers High Availability to enable 24/7 continuous availability in the event of a disaster or system update. The software solution may be deployed remotely online as Software As A Service or may be hosted on an internal IBM system.

  8. Mike Kreamer
    August 16, 2011

    I just wanted to correct our web address for PsyTech Solutions, Inc. and Epitomax which is http://www.psytechsolutions.net and to say that Epitomax is available as either hosted or installed. It is web-based and accessible using and iPad, a smart phone, or vitually any device with a browser and a connection to the Internet.

  9. John
    August 16, 2011

    Thanks Mike. I appreciate you sharing the updated link with us.

  10. Barbara Williams
    September 15, 2011

    Does anyone know if any of the mental health EMR packages can integrate with the medical practice EMRs? Does it make sense to integrate? Would you need laboratory and radiology reports for instance? Would you need medical admission histories?

    I am particularly interested in knowing if any of the mental health EMR packages can integrate with Siemens EMR products.

    Thanks in advance,

  11. Joseph Pickler
    December 1, 2011

    Barbara, most of the mental health EMRs should have the capability to ‘interface’ or ‘integrate’ with/to medical practice EMRs. However, there is a difference between to 2 (interface vs integrate). Interfacing may require logging into different systems and/or rekeying of critical information, while integration is a more tightly built ability to effectively pass the data to/from. Make sure the vendor explains in layman terms how their system interfaces or integrates. Joseph

  12. Eric
    March 29, 2012

    I urge you to check out Patagonia Health’s federally certified EMR for Behavioral Health (www.patagoniahealth.com). We have taken great care to create a product that supports many aspects of community mental health support all the while keeping the benefits of a state of the art cloud based EMR tool. This is not just a medical EMR that supposes to be a fit for BH! We urge you to take a look at how we have worked to support behavioral health requirements using the latest technologies – we will make you think if you think a BH EMR product should have on board access to relevant service forms, cascading sign offs of notes, assessments, etc. Document repository for consumer consents, HR supports, integrated billing from the notes to payments, accessible analytical reports, etc. We value any and all feedback to help us improve our product to fit the BH provider community.

  13. Krista
    June 18, 2012

    Is anyone familiar with http://www.carepaths.com? I am so far impressed with their EHR, etc services for MH providers.

  14. Manu Reddy
    December 21, 2012

    our product, DrCloudEMR (www.drcloudemr.com) has been developed in conjunction with a premier behavioral health clinic. Thus, it is uniquely suited for mental health/behavioral health/substance abuse EMR needs. It is ONC-ATCB certifed and our customers have already received stimulus reimbursement DOLLARS!! Please check us out.

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