Behavioral and mental health problems are a rising concern of many during this pandemic. According to a recent study, more than 40% of U.S. citizens reported having some form of behavioral or mental health problems. If that’s not scary enough as it is, more than 50% of the behavioral and mental health problems start at the age of 14. With such an alarming rate of behavioral and mental health issues, practices that specialize in these areas need to implement a behavioral health EMR Software to ensure clinical efficiency.
One of the major problems that behavioral health practices faced was that they were neglected from the technological advancements in healthcare. This field was not included in the government’s policies to provide incentives to implement health IT technologies. Although, implementing electronic health records (EHR) software is a norm in the healthcare industry. Behavioral health practices have been slow in adopting this technology due to the lack of incentives from the government.
However, over the past few years, this trend has started to change quite significantly. So the future of behavioral health clinics has joined hands with EMR software. In fact, more than +60% of psychiatrists use EHR/EMR software in their medical practice.
In this article, we’ll talk about some of the reasons why behavioral health practices have started adopting EMR software recently.
Recent trends show an increase in demand for behavioral health EHR software. However, as the demand rises, the need for an effective EHR software that ensures clinical efficiency also rises. This has given way to innovative and creative specialty-specific EHR software that are more than capable of ensuring clinical efficiency and streamlining administrative tasks.
Improved usability and ease of access is essential in an EHR software for a number of reasons. For instance, with improved usability, your clinical staff find it much easier to learn and use the EHR software to its full potential. Similarly, if it’s difficult to access required patient information on time, chances are the productivity of your staff members would be diminished. So having a behavioral health EHR software that enables improved usability and provides ease of access to patient information is essential.
In addition, ease of access and improved usability will enable a smooth transition from paper-based record keeping to electronic health records (EHR). Most psychiatrists are looking to implement an EHR software for the first time. This can be a tough experience if not accompanied by the right direction.
While adopting EHR software in other specialties had become a norm, behavioral health lacked the incentives it needed to adopt EHR as well. However, this trend was changed in the past few years when the importance of providing effective behavioral health medical care was highlighted.
However, with the introduction of HR. 3331 and S. 1732 bills, behavioral health specialists were given incentives to improve clinical efficiency through EMR software and other healthcare IT technologies. Both the bills, the need for an effective behavioral health EHR software boomed within behavioral health practices. According to a recent study, more than 60% of behavioral health practices have implemented an EHR software.
They have also been incentivized by Medicare and Medicaid under the condition that they follow their guidelines.
Integrated Medical Care
In order to improve patient care, healthcare in the US has adopted a value-based approach that aims to combine behavioral healthcare with physical healthcare. Most mental health disorders are typically associated with some form of physical disease as well. Similarly, patients that develop fatal or life-altering physical diseases also develop some form of mental disorder(s).
So psychiatrists often need to consult with other physicians to better treat a patient’s condition. The reason is that sometimes mental health disorders are the cause of physical diseases. Similarly, sometimes physical diseases often cause mental health issues to arise. So an integrated system of providing medical care becomes essential. However, implementing an integrated form of medical care is near impossible when done manually.
That’s one of the best strategies to implement an integrated medical care approach that focuses on maximizing patient care through an EHR software.
The primary objective of an EHR is to maximize revenue through faster payments from your buyers. However, that’s easier said than done. In order to ensure you can maximize your revenue and cash in on missed opportunities, you need to reduce the errors in your charting and claims submission.
While a paper-based approach was helpful a long time ago, the times have advanced far too much for it to be effective anymore. So in order to maximize your revenue and provide better patient care, implementing behavioral health EHR software is the ideal way to do so.
When it comes to saving lives, the simplest mistake in charting can cost you dearly. For instance, in the event of a billing audit, the last thing you want is to find out that you’ve made multiple errors in charting and claims submission in the past.
As a psychiatrist, you’d probably want to focus as much time as possible on your patients. However, with manual work, it takes more time
Conclusion – The Rising Trend of Behavioral Health EMR
So with better clinical efficiency, incentives from the government, an integrated medical care approach, and high revenues, who wouldn’t want to implement a behavioral health EMR software? These are the four major reasons that psychiatrists have begun to adopt behavioral health EHR software. Although there are other features of EHR software as well that provide benefits to behavioral health clinics.