Choosing and adopting a new electronic health record (EHR) system is no small feat for any behavioral health or addiction treatment provider. Whether you’re choosing your first EHR or switching to a different solution, here are five questions to ask any EHR vendor you consider.
1. What is your implementation strategy?
How long should implementation take? Will the new EHR be rolled out gradually, or launched all at once? Does the vendor provide training, tutorials, demos, regular updates, and easily accessible support? Which staff members will need to use the EHR?
Each implementation is different, but your EHR vendor should help you create an implementation plan and schedule, understand what to expect, and minimize setbacks.
2. What additional fees do you charge?
Many behavioral health providers have been burned by hidden fees associated with a new EHR. For example, some EHR software companies add fees for certain tech support features. Make sure your budget isn’t being drained by examining the fine print of any agreements and cost estimates before you make a final decision.
3. How do you incorporate patient outcomes in your EHR?
The Joint Commission, a non-profit organization that accredits nearly 21,000 U.S. healthcare organizations and programs, requires its behavioral health members to use standardized methods to assess patient outcomes. This helps providers and patients create individual care plans and better evaluate patient outcomes.
The right EHR solution can help you track patient outcomes in different ways. This may include creating and managing patient progress notes, recording and sharing lab results, and managing intake assessments and discharge summaries.
4. What is your security strategy?
Data security and HIPAA compliance are important for your behavioral health practice, and should be equally important to your EHR vendor. Ask about how patient records are encrypted and saved, and how the vendor protects against data breaches.
Here are some things to look for:
Data transmission between user computer and the cloud should be encrypted
Vendors should provide a regular backup schedule; with BestNotes, for example, user notes are saved as they are made, with regular backups performed nightly
Whether the vendor uses penetration testing, which involves hiring experts to deliberately hack into their system to identify weak points
5. Do you belong to any national associations or follow specific industry standards?
An EHR vendor that joins a national association demonstrates a dedication to uphold standards within their industry. For example, BestNotes is a member of the HIMSS Electronic Health Record (EHR) Association, which aims to accelerate health information and technology, promote interoperability, and improve healthcare quality through EHR use.
BestNotes is also a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, which is committed to providing advocacy, training, and other support to maintain the “highest quality of addiction treatment.”
Switch to an EHR made just for you
BestNotes EHR and CRM solutions are built specifically for behavioral health and addiction treatment professionals. Whether you are just launching your practice or looking to expand, we have the features you need to streamline your administrative tasks, boost your revenue, and improve your patient outcomes. Contact us today to learn more or schedule a free demo!