Wednesday, 21 November 2018

6 Ways Patient-Centered Technology Can Grow Your Mental Health Practice

mental health practice and patient centered technology

Steady advances in technology have simplified our lives to a degree most of us could never have imagined only a few years ago. From our smartphones we can accomplish any number of tasks that used to require us to travel to a store or office, stand in line, and interact with someone else. Now you can tap a few buttons to deposit checks or pay bills online. Many restaurants let you order and pay for your food over the web. Need a ride somewhere? Use a ride-sharing app and a driver will pick you up in no time.

While technology can certainly make our lives easier and more productive, it can come across as sterile, inflexible, and uninviting. That risk is greatest for applications intending to engage consumers who are otherwise quick to run from interactions that are at all complex or impersonal. That’s why, for behavioral health providers, the trick is to implement technology that combines efficiency with a human touch. We want to use patient-centered methods that engage clients by making their participation in treatment as simple and enjoyable as possible.

Here are six ways you can use technology to attract and retain new patients:

Make it easy for new patients. Improve the intake process by eliminating cumbersome manual entry and allowing patients to complete registration online even before their first visit to your practice. They won’t be frazzled searching for insurance cards or frustrated by a slow process.

Keep track of patient information. No one likes filling out forms over and over again. Set up your EHR to retain data and ask patients only for the new or updated information you need. They’ll appreciate the efficiency.

Ensure 24-7 access. We’ve become accustomed to ordering online any time of the day or night, so healthcare providers should offer the same accessibility. Patients should be able to get online anytime to confirm or change an appointment, check for test results, or leave a question about billing or treatment.

Ease the pain of billing. Mental health and substance abuse treatment often means complicated payment rules and multiple payors. Decrease stress with good record-keeping and well-organized workflows that take into consideration the individual billing requirements for each patient.

Keep everyone in the loop. It’s increasingly common for behavioral health patients to see numerous specialists, sometimes at more than one location. Make sure your EHR stores records of all providers in a way that’s accessible to all – including the patient.

Educate your patients. Informed patients feel as if they have more control over their healthcare. Use technology to provide individualized resources that will help patients understand their condition and treatment.

ClinicTracker combines efficiency and constantly updated technology with the personalized details a patient-centered practice needs to succeed. Our Patient Portal sets the tone for a patient-centered relationship from the very beginning. It allows you to send the patient (or authorized representatives) forms ahead of the first appointment. That means you can collect baseline patient information, family history, and insurance details. You also can get HIPAA statements, patient rights and responsibilities statements, and release of information forms out of the way early on in the process. Their demographic information can flow directly into permanent records.

No one has to wait while a staff member manually enters information. Allowing the patient to enter information on their own schedule makes errors less likely, preventing billing problems and improper patient care from mistakes about health history, medications, and allergies.

Providing information ahead allows the practice to confirm coverage, saving time and frustration.

ClinicTracker’s Patient Portal sends patients reminders about appointments and billing status. Patients can set up, confirm, or change appointments. They also can renew prescriptions, view test results, and share records securely with other healthcare providers. Patients can even ask providers minor questions via the portal (if you choose to allow this).

Our system – accessible on mobile devices – provides secure, HIPAA-compliant communication any time of the day or night. Your patients will appreciate how easy the system is, and you can focus on providing care.

ClinicTracker is a robust, future-proof mental health and substance abuse EHR. Michael Gordon, a respected clinical psychologist, and Joshua Gordon, an award-winning software engineer, founded the company in 2000. ClinicTracker EHRs powerful software empowers your agency to succeed. ClinicTracker will automate many 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 our main focus, our software is compatible with foster care agencies, social services, equine assisted therapy, university clinics, academic counseling, family counseling services, and eating disorder clinics.

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