Empower Your Practice

Journal for Practice Managers

EHR for Psychiatry and Behavioral Health - Benefits & Features

Medesk
September 7, 2021

EHR for Psychiatry

Nowadays, using an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system is essential for any type of healthcare practice.

By adopting an EHR solution for your psychiatric practice, you’re arming your staff with the necessary tools to provide the best patient care possible.

How?

Having access to the patient’s complete medical history in a single click will make it much easier for your healthcare professionals to diagnose patients.

And that’s just one of the many benefits of an EHR solution!

In this article, we’re going to teach you all you need to know about EHR for psychiatric practices.

Here’s what we’re going to cover:

  • What Is EHR for Psychiatric Practices
  • 7 Essential Benefits of Using EHR for Psychiatry
  • 8 Must-Have Features for Every Psychiatric EHR System

Let’s get started!

What is EHR for Psychiatric Practices

An electronic health record is a digitized version of physical patient records.

An EHR system, on the other hand, is a type of software that allows you to store and manage your patient records online, as opposed to having to deal with physical documents.

What really makes EHR systems valuable, though, is that they’re interconnected. So, if a patient visits 3 different healthcare practices for different types of treatment, all of these treatments will be documented in the patient’s electronic health record.

This ensures that all healthcare providers are on the same page when it comes to a patient’s medical history and prevents prescription errors and double doctoring.

In 2021, using an EHR system is essential for any type of psychiatric practice because of the software’s various benefits:

7 Benefits of Using EHR for Psychiatry

The biggest benefits of EHR for psychiatry include:

#1. Improved Medical Prescriptions

Using an EHR system makes it significantly easier for mental health practitioners to prescribe their patients the right medicine.

The system analyzes any patient’s diagnosis and automatically suggests potential prescription options to the psychiatrist.

In addition to making the process of prescribing medication easier, this also allows the mental health practitioner to stay up to date with the type of medication available for any given condition.

#2. Coordinated Care

Using a psychiatric EHR system makes it easier to coordinate care with other healthcare providers.

Instead of having to manually transfer patient records between clinics, the EHR system does this automatically.

For example, if a patient has to visit another clinic for a different type of treatment, the clinic can automatically access the patient’s records without having to manually transfer data from the other clinic (as long as they’re using an EHR system, that is).

#3. Simpler Medication Management

A psychiatric EHR system helps keep track of patient prescriptions in real-time.

Say, for example, that your patient went to a GP and was prescribed a new medicine.

Using the EHR system, the psychiatrist can see:

  • The type of prescribed medicine
  • When the medicine was prescribed
  • How long the patient has been taking it

This allows the psychiatrist to accurately prescribe new medicine and, at the same time, prevents double doctoring or prescription errors.

#4. Data Accessibility

Electronic health records can be accessed from just about anywhere.

Meaning, if the patient requires urgent care, healthcare providers country-wide will be able to access their patient records within a moment’s notice.

#5. Improve Psychiatric Clinic Efficiency

Running a psychiatric clinic comes with a ton of administrational work.

The right EHR system, however, really helps ease this burden and allows your healthcare professionals to focus on the work that really matters: providing quality care to your patients.

Here are several ways how an EHR system can help your psychiatric practice run more efficiently:

  • By digitizing and streamlining your patient intake forms.
  • Allowing patients to book appointments online and thus freeing up your receptionist’s time.
  • By digitizing billing and invoicing. Patients are able to pay online through the EHR system.

And more!

#6. Enhanced Patient Record Security

Physical patient records are simply not secure.

They can be lost, misplaced, destroyed, and so on.

By using an EHR system for your psychiatric practice, though, you’re ensuring that your data is as safe as possible.

For starters, patient records can only be accessed by authorized staff members online.

The records are also backed up on the cloud, so if the original records accidentally get deleted, they can easily be restored.

And on top of it all, the data is encrypted, which ensures that your patients’ records are safe even in the case of a cyber-attack.

#7. Simplified Psychiatric Clinic Management

Finally, using an EHR system makes psychiatric practice management much easier.

While some EHR solutions only offer the barebone basic features (e.g. the records themselves), others come with dozens of cutting-edge tools for managing a clinic.

Some of these tools include:

  • Online booking portal. Your patients can book appointments with your clinic online, without having to take up your staff’s time.
  • Telemedicine. Psychiatrists can hold online consultations with their patients using the EHR system.
  • Medical CRM. You can centralize all your patient communication through a single tool.

And more!

8 Must-Have Features for Every Psychiatric EHR System

At this point, the benefits of using an EHR system for your psychiatric practice should be clear.

There are, however, dozens of EHR systems on the market.

How can you know which one is the best option for your psychiatric practice?

In this section, we’re going to discuss the best features for psychiatric EHR systems to help you narrow your search.

#1. Online Patient Portal

Medesk EHR online patient portal

A patient portal is an online app that allows your patients to:

  • Manage their bookings.
  • Securely access their patient records.
  • See their diagnostic results.
  • Securely communicate with their psychiatrist without having to make an appointment.
  • Pay their bills online.

And more!

#2. Healthcare CRM

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The best psychiatric EHR systems also come with healthcare CRM capabilities.

Any interactions with your patients are recorded in the CRM solution and are then readily available to view at any time.

To give you a more practical example of what this means, let’s say a patient calls your clinic and wants to book an appointment with a psychiatrist.

They do not, however, remember which healthcare practitioner examined them the last time.

Your reception staff can simply input the patient’s name in the database and get all the necessary information within minutes.

And that’s just scratching the surface. A medical CRM also allows you to:

  • Personalize your marketing communication. You can, for example, send a targeted marketing campaign to patients who haven’t visited your clinic in a while and offer them an incentive to return (e.g. a free consultation).
  • Uncover trends among your patients. You can easily find out what’s the best-performing patient acquisition channel or which of your services is the most popular among patients of a certain demographic.
  • Automate your marketing. For example, you can send reminders to patients who have an appointment the next day as a way of lowering no-show rates.

#3. Hosted on the Cloud

There are several types of EHR systems:

  1. Physician-hosted. The system is hosted on servers located in your psychiatric practice.
  2. Subsidized. You partner with a larger organization (e.g. hospital) and the EHR system is hosted on their servers.
  3. Hosted on a dedicated server. You rent a dedicated server from a 3rd-party company and host the EHR system there.
  4. Hosted on the cloud. The EHR system is hosted on the cloud and can be accessed from any type of device.

Out of these, we strongly recommend you go with the cloud-hosted EHR system.

Overall, using cloud-hosted software gives you access to a number of benefits that the other EHR types don’t. For example:

  • Cloud-hosted software is significantly cheaper than the alternatives.
  • You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars up-front to set up your own servers.
  • It’s significantly easier to get started with a cloud-based solution. All you have to do is register online and you’re good to go.
  • Cloud-based EHR systems are built for security. This means that your patient data is safe and, unlike with the other EHR types, you won’t have to spend your resources on ensuring that your servers are secure.

Looking for an industry-leading cloud-based EHR system? Try Medesk!

#4. Psychiatry-Specific Features

Some EHR systems offer features specifically related to running a psychiatric clinic.

For example, the Medesk practice management software offers in-built questionnaire forms that your patients can fill in online:

  • PHQ-9 for depression
  • GAD-7 for anxiety
  • SADQ for alcohol dependence
  • ASRS for ADHD assessment
  • AUDIT for alcohol use disorders

And more.

PHQ9 - EHR for Psychiatry

Want to learn more? Check out our psychology practice management page.

#5. Billing

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Another essential feature for psychiatric EHR systems is a billing module.

Your patients should be able to do the following through the patient portal:

  • Pay their invoices online.
  • View their past billing history.
  • Add or view their insurance information.

Additionally, the software should also make it easier for your staff to manage several administrational parts of running a mental healthcare facility.

Your reception staff, for example, should be able to see how much money a patient owes your clinic or what their insurance details are.

#6. Analytics

The best business or marketing decisions are always based on data.

Raw data, though, isn’t really useful to anyone.

The psychiatric EHR system you pick should have the right features to help transform your data into useful reports.

Industry-leading EHR solutions like Medesk, for example, make this process a breeze.

Our software comes with 40+ ready-made reporting templates that allow you to create useful reports within minutes.

With a single click, you’ll be able to pull out all sorts of useful information, such as:

  • Services rendered by month or year.
  • Services sorted by popularity or profitability.
  • Patient acquisition channels sorted by effectiveness.
  • Your clinic’s busiest times.
  • Which of your healthcare practitioners get the most bookings.

And more! Learn more about our analytics templates here.

#7. Telemedicine

Telemedicine has been on the rise for the past 6 years, and it’s projected to become even more popular in the next decade.

This means that unless your psychiatric practice offers telemedicine as a service, you’re missing out on potential customers.

Fortunately, some EHR systems come with telemedicine features that make it extremely simple for clinics to offer it as a service.

Medesk, for example, allows for:

  • Online booking. Your patients can schedule online consultations via the patient portal.
  • Consultations through the platform. Your psychiatric staff can conduct consultations directly from the EHR system without having to rely on a 3rd-party tool.
  • Online payments. Your patients can pay for online consultations through the same patient platform.

Want to learn more about Medesk telemedicine features? Check out our dedicated page!

#8. Stock Management

The right psychiatric EHR system will make inventory management a breeze.

  • You can keep track of medications and consumables through the software, as opposed to dealing with paper forms.
  • You can generate tailored reports with ease. E.g. in a single click, you can see how much of your inventory was used up the previous month.
  • Automatically write off goods sold/used.
  • Calculate profitability by product.
  • Request new stock via a streamlined approval process through the software.

Use Medesk’s EHR Software For Your Psychiatric Clinic

Want to try a psychiatric EHR system that has all these features and more?

Try Medesk!

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Our EHR solution has won awards for being one of the easiest-to-use tools on the market, as well as the best value for the price!

Medesk Mental Health EHR Systems rating

Plus, the software also comes with dozens of must-have features, including:

  • Cloud-based online patient portal.
  • Robust medical CRM.
  • 40+ reporting templates.
  • Billing module.
  • Telemedicine functionalities.

And more!

Want to get started? Head over to our homepage and sign up for a free trial.

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