Behavioral health care facilities offer a wide variety of services. Group therapy, individual counseling, medical evaluations, outpatient therapy and residential care are just a few of the treatments provided in these types of health care settings.
Advantages of an EHR
Having an electronic health record in behavioral health care settings becomes increasingly critical when physicians and other professionals wish to review a patient’s longitudinal health records.1 All of a patient’s interactions and data involving their behavioral and mental health can be documented in a central electronic record.
There are many advantages to implementing an electronic health record system in behavioral health settings. Counselors and addiction specialists, with the assistance of an EHR, are provided with a more complete picture of each patient’s status that fully documents interactions and progress.
- Easy to Update and Review Records
- Convenient Notifications and Reminders
- Decreased Archival Needs
- Increased Efficiency
- Improved Accuracy
- Ease of Prescribing and Increased Oversight
- Better Communication
Patients are often examined in a variety of settings. The physical findings and behaviors of each patient can include one-on-one or group counseling sessions, prescription updates or other sensitive patient care information. Using an EHR, progress notes and other documentation can be easily updated and evaluated.
Receive electronical alerts when deadlines are approaching on time-sensitive documents pertaining to patient progress. You can also be notified about important dates coming up, such as when meetings and consultations are scheduled.
With paperless documents and records stored in an EHR, you can move filing cabinets out of your office. Sensitive patient information can be uploaded to a secure server and quickly accessed as needed by authorized staff members.
Using an EHR system will decrease the need for staff members to spend time transcribing patient records and submitting insurance claims—in addition to making billing more accurate—as less time is needed to delineate charges.
Unlike the often-indecipherable penmanship of handwritten patient records, an EHR can improve the safety of patient care with unambiguous orders and data that can be clearly understood.
E-prescribing is a simple tool for medication management that eliminates the need for prescriptions to be written by hand, but it has additional benefits. When medications such as opioids need to be prescribed for patients in a physical or behavioral health care setting, the ability to e-prescribe via an EHR helps to reduce the potential for prescription drug abuse.2
All approved staff members have real-time access to patient records, resulting in increased integration and improved quality of care. The use of an EHR in behavior health care settings provides quicker and more accurate communication among clinicians.3 An EHR can lead to better patient flow, a decrease in unnecessary duplicated tests and quicker answers to patients’ questions. Electronic health records enable therapists and other clinicians to locate their patients’ records at any time, from anywhere.
An EHR can help you and your team in the behavioral health care field adapt to the future now, as whole-person care becomes more and more important in the delivery of health care services.