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How to Compare Software for Behavioral Health Treatment

Posted by David Ballenberger on Thu, May 18, 2017 @ 14:05 PM

comparing software for mental healthWhat makes software systems different and how do you know if you're looking at the system that best meets your needs?  It is very important to be objective when looking at software.  When you are taking that long objective look, when making comparisons between Qualifacts, Netsmart, Psych Advantage, and Kareo, consider the following:

  • Is the software outcome based?
  • Will the software allow you to enter a treatment template that represents your program and review the plan based on the programs measurement of success?
  • Will the software allow for multiple treatment plans to be written based on the programs the consumer is in?
  • Will the software provide hard data that can be used for program evaluation, accreditation, and for measurement of consumer progress?
  • Can the forms you use on a daily basis be entered in the system and changed using a customizable form builder?
  • Will the software allow managers to pull a report that tells them what each therapist needs to complete and by what date?
  • If your agency runs a number of groups, can the group be created, notes written for each person in the group, and then migrate the data to the consumer’s individual chart?
  • Will the software provide website downlink allowing a program to provide hyperlinks on a web site for new and existing clients to fill out forms?
  • Will the software provide an evidence-based dashboard that gives one-click access to graphical evidence-based outcomes by consumer, provider, or diagnosis?


When selecting a mental or behavioral health EMR, providers should consider other features necessary to improve efficiency and care at their agency or facility. For example, some allow you to create and store custom, reusable notes in a database for quick retrieval during a patient encounter. Others will need administrative features like a calendar application or patient scheduling system for clinical appointments.


Consider these capabilities:


Workflow management

Make sure your system facilitates point of care and supports, rather than interferes, with your opportunities for direct patient interaction, thus supporting the way you do business.

Advanced note management

Mental and behavioral health specialists may need to access their old notes quickly to review previous sessions. Behavioral health electronic health records software should allow for easy retrieval and viewing of the notes and assessment in multi-axial format.

Specialty EMR templates

Specialty psychiatric SOAP notes templates include anxiety, depression, delirium, mania, psychosis, eating disorders, addiction, personality disorders, suicide, and more. Providers can use the pre-existing templates or, if desired, customize them even further.



Behavioral health software is a considered purchase. The choices your organization makes will have long-reaching impact not just on office management, but on profitability, on patient outcomes and on staff happiness. Taking the time to evaluate and demo several software companies' platforms really is worth the investment. 


Download the behavioral health care software checklist and customize it for your specific set of requirements. It will make a huge difference in objective evaluation of the right fit. There's no perfect software, only a perfect fit for each individual organization! 

Get the Free Behavioral Health Software Checklist

Topics: Treatment, practice management software, EMR, EHR