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Thursday, 04 June 2015

Look for Superior Behavioral Health EHR Support to Ensure a Smooth Go-Live

Successful EHR ImplementationAny Behavioral Healthcare and Substance Abuse facility that has adopted a new EHR has undoubtedly endured a fair share of turmoil and frustration. In our experience, most of the difficulties users encounter with their software surface during the implementation phase.

It’s easy for an agency to second-guess its software selection when things get rocky on the road to go-live. Administrators can ask themselves, "After all that due diligence, how did we end up with a program that won’t work for us? Why did we bother checking out all those references, spend so much time researching options, and sit through endless software demos?"

To be sure, some programs simply don’t have what it takes to run a behavioral healthcare agency. They’re missing features that are critical for regulatory compliance and revenue generation. But, while it may be easy to blame the software program for implementation woes, it’s not always a fair assessment. Why? Because implementing an EHR is inherently complicated, regardless of the software’s sophistication. Every clinic has its own nuances, billing requirements, state rules, and staff needs. No program can anticipate every last detail.

Unrealistic Expectations

“What we have seen with practice after practice is the unrealistic expectation that EHR deployment should be 100% worry free, happen in two weeks, and require minimal staff time,” says Kristin Walker, CEO of everythingEHR, who assists behavioral health agencies in their search for the right EHR. “The implementation is a team effort -- a partnership between the behavioral health organization and the EHR staff.”

And that’s the point: Successful implementation depends on a productive relationship between agency and software company. For things to go well, you need to know that the software support team is ready, willing, and able to modify the program so it fits your clinic like the proverbial glove. That’s why our program, ClinicTracker, is so successful. We have the expertise, dedication, and resources necessary to overcome any obstacles that might arise.   ClinicTracker EHR Implementation of Billing, Reporting, ePrescribing

Billing Woes

A practice’s billing setup is often the primary source of go-live misery. Many programs just can’t manage all the intricacies of insurance rules, state mandates, and the like – often relying on third-party clearinghouses to deal with custom claim file edits. That’s why we designed ClinicTracker to connect directly to insurance payers. Having that capacity means our software must handle every possible option for creating and adjusting a claim file (but, if you want to use a clearinghouse, we can link with one as well). With nearly every new implementation, comes some unique requirement that no other agency seems to follow. You want to make sure your EHR vendor is able to make the necessary modifications, and quickly.

We actually worked with a clinic that had to abandon a system because they couldn’t get it to process claims. Our team worked with administrators and the major payers to identify what needed to happen for successful claim submissions. After we implemented those changes, the agency went live with billing within just a few weeks.

Not all the hassles agencies encounter are because of technical limitations or glitches. Many are related to insufficient staff training. Using an EHR program can be complicated no matter how well the software was designed. Here’s an example: One clinic used an EHR from a company that did not train staff on how to check that claim submissions were accompanied by the appropriate paperwork. At a site visit, auditors identified the errors and assessed thousands of dollars in paybacks.

ClinicTracker Focuses on Training

The ClinicTracker implementation team always focuses on training staff to know how to use the program, particularly when it comes to mission-critical workflows related to regulatory compliance. 

For the clinic previously mentioned, we actually first configured billing rules so that the system wouldn’t allow staff to bill for sessions for which a progress note was missing. We also trained administrators on how to generate reports that listed sessions without the proper documentation. With that information in hand, they could follow up with providers. They could even use the internal communications system to manage the process automatically.

Every behavioral health clinic is unique. A software package can never be "one size fits all." Unless you work with a company that can help identify your specific needs and modify the program accordingly, you’ll be in for a shaky (and perhaps unsuccessful) implementation. ClinicTracker prides itself with working with your team to ensure a smooth go-live. That’s just what we do.

Alycia Basile, Client Success Director at ClinicTrackerClick here to contact Alycia Basile, Client Success Director at ClinicTracker.

Check out a Demo of ClinicTracker Here.


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