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Choosing the Best CRM Option for Behavioral Health and Addiction Treatment

Many behavioral and mental health providers and addiction treatment professionals understand the value of electronic health records (EHRs). But does your practice also need customer relationship management (CRM) software?

Here is some information to consider:

What is a CRM?
CRM software generally helps an organization collect and organize customer contact information and manage relationships with current and potential customers. The primary aim of CRM is to build and maintain client relationships.

Depending on the software, CRM programs can also help track which team members have been in contact with a customer, what services a customer has purchased, and what products they may be interested in.

A CRM solution developed specifically for healthcare should be able to use different types of data, such as demographics and financial information, to give you a full view of a patient’s habits and activities. This helps you communicate with and retain patients.

What can CRM do for health providers?

Using CRM software can help health providers in a variety of ways.

Collect and organize patient data from multiple sources to create a complete picture of a patient
Help manage marketing campaigns
Measure and report the success of patient marketing and engagement strategies
Use data to personalize communications with patients

Are there federal requirements for health CRM?

The federal government does not currently have requirements specifically for CRM software. However, providers should make sure their CRM solutions adhere to all federal regulations that apply to the provider.

For example, HIPAA rules apply to any provider that transmits any electronic billing information to any health insurance company. Since this applies to most behavioral health providers, any CRM software that providers use must also be HIPAA-compliant.

To meet HIPAA requirements, CRM software should include:

Data encryption, including secure messaging
Audit logs that determine which user accessed which data
Restricting user access only to data which is necessary for them to see
Authorization forms signed by patients
Regular backups

What else should providers keep in mind?
When choosing a CRM solution, it can be helpful to work with a vendor who already provides your EHR software. This may not always be the case, however. If you are choosing a CRM vendor from scratch, there are some other questions you should ask about your practice that can help you choose the best solution for your needs.

What specific problems do you want CRM software to help solve?
How do you intend to use CRM?
What kind of data do you need to track and manage?
Who in your practice will be using CRM the most? Will the solution help them do their job better?
Will the CRM tools easily integrate with your existing software and tools?
What kind of training, customer service, and troubleshooting does the vendor provide?
Does the vendor provide regular updates to their products?
Is the product mobile-friendly?
Can the solution be adapted to changes in your practice’s needs?
Will it help your practice meet both short- and long-term goals?

For an EHR solution that includes CRM tools designed specifically for behavioral health providers, contact BestNotes today.

 

date:  Sep 19, 2018
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The State of Addiction and Addiction Treatment in Ohio

Ohio has not been immune to the impact of addiction and the opiate crisis sweeping the nation. Here’s the latest news on efforts across the state to curb addiction and overdose.

Cincinnati Jail Adds Beds for Inmates’ Addiction Treatment

Ohio’s Hamilton County Justice Center is renovating space to add 92 new beds to help treat addiction in inmates and ease jail crowding. Treating addiction also may help keep inmates from becoming incarcerated again. According to Sheriff Jim Neil, about one-third of the jail’s inmates are dealing with addiction. NaphCare, the health provider for the jail, also began using buprenorphine in May to help inmates detox. Among those 500 people who enter detox every month, nearly 400 are addicted to opioids.

Could Medical Marijuana Help Opioid Addiction in Ohio?

Several Ohio counties have assembled response teams to address drug overdoses and help survivors and families get help with addiction. This year saw the launch of Project FORT (Fairfield County Overdose Response Team), which has helped about two dozen people receive addiction treatment, out of about 70 drug overdoses in Fairfield County so far this year. Of these overdoses, five were fatal, according to Scott Duff, director of Project FORT.

In Franklin County, the RREACT (Rapid Response Emergency Addiction and Crisis Team) program includes a mental-health nurse and a social worker. Both the Ross County sheriff’s office and Chillicothe police created teams that include a deputy, an officer, and a treatment provider who make home visits to people who have received the overdose drug Narcan.

Local Drug Prevention Coalitions Seek Changes Statewide

Across Ohio, five area coalitions are working to reduce overdoses from opioid misuse. The rate of deaths from unintentional drug overdose in Ohio has reached 5,232 a year, or about 14 a day. The coalitions, funded by the federal Drug-Free Communities Act, each use similar data and aim to prevent or delay drug use in children and teens.

The Fairfield Prevention Coalition, launched in 2014, includes various leaders, experts, and community members. These coalitions work with other agencies and organizations, including law enforcement, mental-health professionals, and churches. Coalitions also use social media to bring awareness to opiate addiction. Goals of these coalitions include changing perceptions of the drugs’ harm and creating incentives for positive behavior.

Treating addiction and behavioral health in Ohio?

Behavioral health and addiction treatment providers can save time, money, and headaches with the right EHR solutions. Contact BestNotes for more information about how we can help.

date:  Sep 10, 2018
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What Is the History of EHRs in Healthcare?

Many behavioral health experts now use electronic health records (EHRs) to help reduce errors, improve cost-effectiveness, and better share patient information among providers and facilities.

But what really started this trend? Despite the recent growth in the use of EHRs, this technology has a vibrant history that goes back more than a century.

How Old Are EHRs? Older Than You Think

In the early 1900s, when the Mayo Clinic was still young, Dr. Henry Plummer helped the hospital develop a registration system and uniform medical record for keeping track of patients’ medical information. This system became part of Mayo Clinic’s infrastructure, contributing to its growth as a world-famous hospital. Decades later, Mayo Clinic would become one of the first hospitals to implement an EHR system.

According to Becker’s Health IT and CIO Report, some form of EHR to store patient data has been around since the 1960s. Only a few hospitals and physicians used them, however, since they came at a high cost when the technology was new. Early EHRs were primarily used in government, research, and military health centers.

As the technology developed further in the second half of the 20th century, more physicians used computers in their practices. By 1991, the Institute of Medicine had a goal for all physicians to use computers in their practice by the year 2000. Just because they used computers, however, did not necessarily mean that the practice used a full EHR system. Even when a practice implemented EHRs, compatibility and interoperability among different providers and EHR systems became persistent problems.

In 2004, an executive order under President George W. Bush created the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology. This led to a call for nationwide EHR use by 2014.

EHR Growth in the Last Decade

President Barack Obama supported the mandate for widespread EHR use, and included EHRs in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. This legislation aimed to modernize the U.S. healthcare system.

ARRA also provided additional funding to providers who adopted EHRs and followed the concept of “meaningful use” by 2014. The idea of “meaningful use” centered on improving quality of care, reducing health disparities, and protecting personal health information.

True to its history of health innovations, the Mayo Clinic also led the way in expanding EHR use. Between 2013-2015, the Mayo Clinic began the process of unifying its various practices to encourage the sharing of information, both inside and outside its health system. In 2015, Mayo Clinic CIO Christopher Ross announced that the system would move to a single EHR. That major change began to go live earlier in 2018.

Between 2001 and 2011, physician use of EHRs grew from 18 percent to 57 percent, according to HealthIT.gov.

Future Developments and Predictions

As patient needs and demands change, so will the needs of healthcare practices. EHR solutions will continue to evolve to meet those needs. Improved communication and interoperability will remain top priorities among providers and EHR companies.

BestNotes EHR software solutions helps behavioral health and addiction treatment professionals save time and money in their practices and provide greater care to patients. Contact us to learn what we can do for you.

date:  Sep 07, 2018
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Three Ways a Healthy Workplace Boosts Productivity

A healthy workplace is characterized by high morale and empowered, encouraged employees. Research shows that such environments help boost productivity, which helps improve a company’s culture, and bottom line, and leads to more satisfied clients.

Here are three examples of what increased productivity looks like in a healthy workplace, with tips on how to achieve them.

1. Lower employee turnover

Healthy workplaces tend to have low staff turnover, since employees are more likely to stick around. Because of this, the company benefits from reduced costs associated with interviewing, hiring, and training new employees. Lower turnover also encourages teamwork by giving staff members plenty of time to get to know each other and learn how to understand each other and work together.

Workplaces can reduce turnover in a variety of ways:
Make sure to hire the right candidates, who suit the company culture and align with its goals and values.
Trust employees to fulfill their roles without micromanaging them.
Offer competitive salaries and benefits, as well as advancement opportunities.
Encourage work-life balance among staff members by providing options such as flexible work schedules, help with elder or childcare, and telecommunication opportunities.

2. Increased communication

Employees who feel encouraged and empowered are more likely to speak up and share opinions. This helps boost creativity and brainstorming because teammates share ideas more freely, which can lead to an increase in productivity. Staff members who are encouraged to express their needs also may be less likely to experience dissatisfaction at work or tension with coworkers.

A company can encourage communication several ways:
Have managers set examples by practicing better, more frequent communication.
Listen to employees and seek to understand them. Include employee suggestions in any efforts to improve the workplace.
Schedule regular team meetings that encourage all participants to speak up.
Set healthy boundaries and encourage work-life balance by limiting communication outside of work hours.
Keep employees updated on projects and outcomes.

3. Greater employee engagement

“Employee engagement” is a general term that includes how passionate employees feel about their jobs, how committed they are to their company, and how much effort they put into their work. Highly engaged employees tend to work harder because they have a strong sense of purpose, which increases morale and teamwork.

There are numerous methods for increasing employee engagement:
Make sure all employees understand the roles they serve and the value they provide.
Provide the right training and tools for team members to do their work.
Make sure the company not only provides training and support for new hires, but also growth and development opportunities for existing employees. This not only helps increase employee loyalty, but makes them better at their jobs and a better asset to the company.
Emphasizing the value of employees’ opinions.
Give staff members recognition and incentives for jobs well done.

Healthy work environments do not happen by accident. They require deliberate effort, although specific methods may differ among organizations. Executives and management must be committed to creating a healthy culture full of happy, productive employees. In turn, these employees will support their companies and be more productive in their work.

date:  Sep 04, 2018
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Idaho is launching a new mental-health program, Youth Empowerment Services (YES), to provide individualized care throughout the state to children with serious emotional disturbance (SED)

YES Created to Address Children’s Needs

YES was created in response to the Jeff D. class-action lawsuit that began in 1980. At that time, both children and adults received mental-health care at State Hospital South. The lawsuit argued that Idaho lacked sufficient treatment, educational, and community-based services, which allegedly violated patients’ rights under the U.S. Constitution, Idaho Constitution, and other federal and state laws.

After three decades of hearings, the Court recommended mediation to develop solutions. This occurred from September 2013 through December 2014, and included parents, patient advocates, health providers, and attorneys. The result of these negotiations became the Idaho Implementation Plan, which led to the creation of YES.

Collaborative, Team-Based Approach

A major focus of YES is collaboration and coordinated care. The program will bring together the Department of Health and Welfare, State Department of Education, and Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections.

These agencies aim to improve communications between health providers and agencies. This improved communication can help streamline care and prevent duplicate or conflicting treatments. All agencies involved will work toward the same goals for each child.

Under YES, Idaho aims to use a uniform, statewide procedure to identify children and teens with unmet mental-health needs and connect them to the appropriate resources. This will be done with the new Child and Adolescent Needs & Strengths, a standardized, statewide tool to identify children in need, measure functional impairment, communicate about the child’s needs and strengths, and help plan treatment.

What Are Some of the Goals of YES?

State agencies intend to measure and communicate treatment outcomes, which will increase transparency and accountability to patients, families, and other stakeholders. The state also intends to use state resources effectively, and to use Medicaid and other federal funds to the fullest extent available.

YES also encourages children and their families to be involved in care and treatment planning, as well as system improvement. Under the program, children with SED will receive individualized services, and families will be educated on how to use these services.

Through these efforts, Idaho hopes to see improved outcomes for children and teens with SED. These include increased safety at home and in school, reduced hospitalizations and “out-of-home placements,” reduced delinquency, improved mental health and reduced mental disability, and improved functioning among patients with SED.

What Services Will Be Available?

Idaho is implementing YES in stages from 2018 to 2019. The state is in the process of providing YES training for providers and families, and conducting outreach regarding the new program.

Under YES, families will work with several agencies, including schools, family health providers, and the departments of Health and Welfare or Juvenile Justice. Together, the family and agencies will develop a treatment plan based on the child’s individual needs.

Idaho also intends to develop additional community-based services to help meet YES goals. Available services will be listed on the program’s Services and Supports Page.

date:  Aug 27, 2018
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