As a psychologist, you know the importance of using an electronic medical record (EMR). But did you know that your EMR can do more than store patient information? An EMR can help you provide better psychotherapy sessions, increase efficiency in your office, and be more organized.
The sad part is that despite many utilities, only 6% of mental health facilities and 29% of substance abuse treatment centers use such services. Let’s delve into the deliverables to raise awareness.
To Improve Patient Care
Behavioral health EMR solutions can help improve patient care, outcomes, satisfaction, and safety. They can also help you with the following:
- Improve patient engagement: Patients actively involved in their care tend to be more satisfied with the experience and have higher retention rates. With behavioral health EMR solutions offering patient portals or other forms of secure online communication, you can encourage patients’ input on their treatment plans while improving communication between providers.
- Enhance communication between providers: Behavioral health EHRs often allow for seamless collaboration between mental health professionals and primary care doctors or psychiatrists so that each team member can access all relevant patient information during appointments or consultations.
This helps ensure that everyone involved has complete knowledge about a given case and reduces errors caused by incomplete records or missing information from previous sessions with other providers.
To Increase Efficiency
Psychologists are tasked with many responsibilities. They must ensure their patients receive the best care possible while meeting state regulations and practicing within their scope.
They must take time from clinical work to complete administrative tasks such as billing, coding, or logging data into their EMR system. These activities can be time-consuming, leading to errors or delays in providing quality patient care.
Fortunately, there is a solution. Behavioral Health EMR Solutions. These solutions provide psychologists with an easy-to-use platform where they can quickly enter information about each visit into one place instead of having multiple places where this type of data needs to be entered manually.
To Organize and Standardize Better
If you’re a psychologist, a behavioral health EMR solution can help you organize and standardize better. This will help you improve patient care and increase efficiency. Behavioral health is a complex field that encompasses many different areas of medicine.
Catering to such problems, many businesses offer EMR solutions to simplify the complete behavioral health treatment process. Companies like Accumedic are trying to ease daily operations amidst the growing regulations and complexities using behavioral health EMR solutions.
A behavioral health EMR solution provides tools for organizing patient information into easily accessible categories, which allows psychologists to focus on treatment rather than paperwork.
To Reduce Reimbursement Time
The main reason why psychologists should leverage behavioral health EMR solutions is to reduce reimbursement time. A report by Milliman shows that 44% of total healthcare costs in the US are behavioral health-oriented. So the cost of healthcare in this genre is high, making speedy insurance claims processing a necessity.
The current reimbursement process for healthcare providers can be lengthy, and it can take weeks or even months for your claims to be paid out by insurance companies. This means that you’re losing money every day that you wait on reimbursement checks, and if your practice isn’t busy enough, this could mean having to shut down entirely if finances run dry too quickly.
What’s worse? The paperwork involved in submitting claims is tedious and time-consuming. There are forms to fill out, codes to look up online, and signatures required from multiple people within the practice. The list goes on.
The more complicated things get with each new provider added into an insurance network system, the more likely that something gets missed when submitting claims electronically or through faxes/mailing documents manually.
To Ensure HIPAA Compliance
HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a US law that requires businesses to protect the privacy of medical records.
Generally, HIPAA compliance means that your business must ensure the privacy of all medical records and health information by protecting them from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. This includes using HIPAA compliant online forms to collect and store patient information.
HIPAA compliance is a key part of the EMR. It helps protect patient privacy by ensuring that only those with a legitimate need can access your patient’s protected health information (PHI).
It also helps ensure data integrity by providing auditable trails for all changes made to patient records, including who made them and when they were made. HIPAA compliance ensures data security by limiting access to only those individuals to whom you or your practice has granted permission.
And finally, it helps ensure data availability by ensuring that important information is always available when needed, even in emergencies like natural disasters or power outages where computers may go down unexpectedly.
A behavioral health EMR lets doctors store, access, and update data efficiently. This can prevent any data breaches and their consequences. Apart from HIPAA, EMR solutions also help one to adhere to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. Not adhering to the same can invite a penalty of millions for perpetrators.
To Enhance Patient Access
The benefits of behavioral health EMR systems are numerous, and they can potentially improve patient care and outcomes. Behavioral health EMR solutions can help you:
- Provide patients with a single source of information by allowing them to access their medical records from any device at any time.
- Provide immediate access to health records for all providers involved in their care.
- Securely share those records with other providers or family members as necessary.
To Track Treatment Plan
Tracking treatment plans is an essential aspect of patient care. A psychologist can use the EMR solution to ensure that patients are receiving the right treatment plan and following it.
For example, if a patient has been prescribed medication for depression, then their psychologist needs to know if they’ve been taking it regularly. If not, this will affect how effective any other therapies may be in helping them overcome their condition and how likely they are to relapse after treatment ends.
Behavioral health EMR solutions offer many benefits, so more and more psychologists are adopting them. A US market analysis by Grand View Research shows that the US behavioral healthcare EMR market is growing at a CAGR of 11.07% from 2022 to 2030.
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this article, but there are still many more topics to explore. Regardless, these benefits are good enough to understand the need and importance of behavioral health EMR solutions.