Behavioral health services are increasingly embracing modern technology in the form of electronic health records to improve efficiency levels. Numerous EHR packages are on the market, leading to confusion about which type of EHR for behavioral health private practice is best for you.
The ideal EHR solution for one practice may not be suitable for another. You will need to do some preparation and research to identify what is best for yours.1 Here are some suggestions to help you choose the right EHR for a behavioral health private practice.
Establish Your Budget and Requirements
Your budget will be an important factor in choosing the EHR system that is right for you. In general, the more features an EHR solution has, the more it is likely to cost. Apart from initial software costs and possible monthly fees, remember to factor in the cost of any new hardware or infrastructure you are likely to need.
To determine the right EHR for a behavioral health private practice, draw up a list of your specific needs. To get started, you can search online for details about the various solutions available. Identify features that you would want to use in your service. It may be helpful to divide your list into “must have” and “nice to have” features. You can check out the answers to some frequently asked questions that others have posted online about EHR systems.2 When your list is complete, you can focus on the solutions that most closely match your requirements.
Evaluate Your EHR Options
When evaluating the best EHR for a behavioral health private practice, it is important to focus on packages that can be customized to your practice’s operations, rather than having to alter the way the service works to suit the software. Look for EHR systems that can be tailored to your practice.
Keep in mind what your future requirements may be. For example, you may have a single practice right now, but if you plan to open new practices in the future, ask whether your prospective EHR solution can adapt to meet your new needs when that happens.
Ease of Use and Training
There is often a learning curve when a new system or piece of technology is introduced to a practice. If that learning curve is too steep, it can have a negative impact on a business’s efficiency. Behavioral health practice owners or management should look for systems that are intuitive and relatively easy to use.
The level of training and support offered can be critical in implementing a new system. The best EHR systems come with several training options. These may include on-site training, online training, online or printable user manuals and video tutorials.
If a problem arises, it is useful to have instant access to responsive and knowledgeable technical support. Find out what support is available, and what the average response time is. The best EHR solutions offer live chat where you can get answers quickly. Ideally, you should select a system that also provides telephone support, as well as a ticket system for less urgent issues.