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Colorado Community Health Network seeks to fill 90 provider positions at 170 statewide clinics, the Denver Business Journal reported in August. The openings come, in part, as patient roles grow because of increased access to insurance and improved mental health parity rules under the federal Affordable Care Act. The growing need for providers, coupled with the onslaught of Baby Boomer retirements and perennial challenges in the field, conspire to create a critical condition in staffing and retaining behavioral health providers.

ClinicTracker EHR helps improve employee retention. Just one mental health provider exists for every 790 people in the United States, according to a 2014 report by the advocacy group Mental Health America (MHA). Fewer young medical professionals choose the demanding, and less lucrative, mental health and addiction specialties. Weak office infrastructure and voluminous paperwork requirements don’t build the field’s attractiveness.

“They (young professionals) really want to do the work they feel they’re able to, but they get caught up in the miles of paperwork or session limits and aren’t able to provide all the services they want,” University of Northern Colorado professor Mary Sean O’Halloran told the Denver post in 2013.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects increased demand for behavioral health staff. The agency’s 2008 10-year career forecast listed 5 behavioral health care occupations among the top 30 hottest careers. Projections include a 34% increase in the number of substance abuse and behavioral health counselors from 2006 to 2016 and a 30% increase in the number of mental health and substance abuse social workers. Experts anticipate similar increased needs for social workers and human service assistants; mental health counselors; and marriage and family therapists.

High workloads constantly stretch providers, and their jobs often lack resources and professional development opportunities. Many offer inadequate incentives. Those factors contribute to frequent staff turnover. Safety net clinics in Colorado reported that 34% of clinicians leave each year. And turnover only increases the stress level in the office.

Amid a frustrating, fast-paced environment, ClinicTracker offers tools that help reduce many of the hassles that confront providers, especially when it comes to helping them manage caseloads, documentation, and regulatory compliance. Because it automates much of the workflow, the program serves as a digital assistant that makes sure everything gets done on time and according to regulations. For example, the My Appointments widget shows the status of Progress Notes, while the automated compliance tracking module lets providers know where they stand on required paperwork at all times.

For managers, the payroll feature tracks incentives and automatically calculates incentive targets. It makes it easy to calculate payroll contributions, regardless of the basis upon which any particular staff member is paid. It’s another example of how a sophisticated practice management tool helps staff spend more time providing services than managing details, which helps with staff retention.

About ClinicTracker

ClinicTracker is a robust, future-proof mental health and substance abuse EHR. Dr. Michael Gordon, a renowned clinical psychologist, and Joshua Gordon, an award-winning software engineer, founded the company in 2000. ClinicTracker EHR’s powerful software empowers your agency to succeed. ClinicTracker will automate all of your clinic routines, boost staff productivity, increase billing efficiency, and provide the tools you need to manage your clinic effectively. While mental health and substance abuse agencies are the most common group of users, foster care agencies, social services, equine assisted therapy programs, university clinics, academic counseling systems, family counseling services, and eating disorder clinics also take advantage of our powerful software.