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Choosing an EHR for the Large Behavioral Health Group Practice

Large behavioral health group practices are caught between two worlds: that of the market for EHR’s for general medical practices and the relatively new market for EHR’s that fit behavioral health care practices. The products pitched to them from the large EHR vendors that focus primarily on primary care are way beyond their budgets, lack functionality (such as integrated scheduling and billing, behavioral healthcare specific templates and treatment plans, etc.), and are cluttered with features that have no value in day-to-day behavioral health practice. Current EHR vendors that are focused on behavioral healthcare frequently have some of the desired functionality and lack the clutter, but they rarely offer a complete product that provides for all of the practice management needs of the behavioral health practice. 

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EMR vs EHR – What is the Difference?

What’s in a word? Or, even one letter of an acronym? Some people use the terms “electronic medical record” and “electronic health record” (or “EMR” and “EHR”) interchangeably. But at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), they use electronic health record or EHR almost exclusively. While it may seem a little picky at first, the difference between the two terms is actually quite significant. The EMR term came along first, and indeed, early EMRs were “medical.” They were for use by clinicians mostly for diagnosis and treatment.

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Advantages of Electronic Health Records

What are the advantages of electronic health records? EHRs and the ability to exchange health information electronically can help you provide higher quality and safer care for patients while creating tangible enhancements for your organization. EHRs help providers better manage care for patients and provide better health care by:

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Implementing an EHR in the behavioral health setting

Behavioral healthcare (BHC) is one of the most varied healthcare settings, encompassing a wide range of services from outpatient substance abuse treatment to full-time, residential psychiatric care. Within these services, the type of care provided also differs. For instance, a single organization may offer group therapy, one-on-one counseling, crisis stabilization and community outreach. Compounding the diversity is the fact that each area has significant sensitivities in terms of both treatment approach and client privacy.

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Data-Driven Human Rights: Using the Electronic Health Record to Promote Human Rights in Jails

 In the US, approximately 10 million people cycle through jails and prisons annually, with 90% of these incarcerations occurring in jails. Incarcerated persons tend to be poor, from racial and ethnic minorities, and have high rates of medical, mental health, and substance abuse problems. In addition to having high rates of pre-existing health concerns, the incarcerated face new health risks during incarceration, including injury from violence and mental health stressors.

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The Future of Behavioral Health Care

Expanded Coverage for all, including Mental Illness

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Know your Customers: Marketing for Health Care are Professionals

However good your clinic or program is, the simple truth is that no-one will buy it if they don't want it or believe they don't need it. And you won't persuade anyone that they want or need to buy what you're offering unless you clearly understand what it is your customers really want.

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Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) also called Electronic Health Records (EHRs)

Once your health and medical records are being kept, accessed, changed and updated digitally, using computers or tablets or other devices, they are called EHRs (Electronic Health Records) or EMRs (Electronic Medical Records).

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Mental Health Care Lags in Using Technology

Perhaps the most important medical advance of the 21st century will be the application of information technology to health care – allowing all segments of the mental health system to interact seamlessly and facilitate safe, high-quality care for consumers.  An integrated information technology and communication infrastructure is critical to achieving the transformation of mental health care in America.

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Evaluating Behavioral Health Software

Have you ever heard the saying “If the Shoe Fits, Wear It?

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