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Ultimate EHR Buyer’s Guide for Larger Behavioral Health Organization

If you are a large behavioral health organization searching for the right EHR, here is a complete buyer's guide designed for you and your organization.

Large behavioral health organizations succeed because of efficiency, good practices, and having the right tools for the job.

In this post, we will focus on what a larger system should look for when selecting an EHR. As the printing press revolutionized communication and assembly line brought forth modern manufacturing, the right EHR will help your facility achieve its full potential.

Whether you already have an EHR, or are in the market for one, consider these factors:

1. Cost

The cost of your behavioral health EHR is based on a number of variables. As a larger facility, it might make the most sense to get a complete, customized EHR. Modules that may not be a huge priority for a single provider practice — such as bill pay, credit card processing, and other add-ons — will be essential to your facility.

2. Functionality

If you’re going to invest in an EHR, make sure it functions across all aspects of your facility: Compliance updates, secure messaging and mobile access for providers, automated check in for your reception staff, and business intelligence reporting. All of these and more can be found in one place, a complete EHR.

3. Practical Applications

You aren’t interested in treating your patients, clocking your hours, and calling it a day. Those of us in behavioral health are on a mission to find better solutions and treatments, and to stop epidemics sooner. Some EHRs offer target behavioral tracking so that you can read trends across all of your patients and refine treatments by demographic success. This can help you more accurately diagnose and treat patients and will enable you to extrapolate and predict outcomes. This will help you, your patients, and generations to come.

 4. Mobility

Everyone benefits from an EHR that can be assessed on the go. From phone or tablet, having patient information at your fingertips will save your time and effort — wherever you are. You’re busy, your staff is busy. Make sure everyone is on the same page with up-to-the-minute mobile access.

5. Support

Determine how important IT support is to you. If it’s critical, be sure to find an EHR with 24.7 support and U.S. – based technicians on-call.

The following are compliance-related and technical considerations to keep in mind when selecting an EHR for your large behavioral health facility.

6. Security

Essential to larger facilities, patients and your staff must be able to rest assured that data is safe. Are you comfortable with client information being stored on your own personal servers? Or is a cloud-based system right for you? Perhaps you want to implement the greatest security precautions, which may mean an EHR provider-hosed server.

7. Time

Clinical hours are critical hours, as we like to say. One of the most important resources your organization has is you and your time. Look for an EHR that improves and streamlines treatment practices with a suite of features to improve efficiency across your whole facility.

8. Communication

The hard truth is that when things go wrong in behavioral health and addiction treatment, it’s often because of simple human error. So much can get lost in translation, and the more people involved, the higher the chances are for miscommunication — the consequences of which could be dire. Be sure to find an EHR that will keep communication among your staff clear and consistent so mistakes and oversights are minimized.

9. Ease of Use

An EHR is useless if it’s not easy to use, and if your staff won’t adopt it. Look for an EHR that lets you enjoy greater and faster control of your records without a lot of hassle. Some EHRs offer “one click” access to patient medications, schedules, communications, orders, documentation, lab results, and more.

10. Compliance

Keep track of compliance updates and alerts. It may be beneficial to you to find an EHR with features like built-in alerts and compliance measures. Rules-based alerting and messaging ensures that the appropriate people are up-to-date on critical clinical, medical, financial, and operational items. If audits occur, retrieve information and reports at the click of a button.

The right EHR can make life at your facility a lot easier. But the wrong one can cause no end of frustration for all of your staff. Keep these tips in mind when looking for the best EHR for your larger organization so that it can continue to grow and thrive.