An EHR (Electronic Health Records) system can be a great tool for both patients and providers. EHR’s allow patients to access their medical records, share information with their providers, and find the right resources to help them with their specific needs. For providers, EHRs are important for accessing patient information, assessing care plans, and monitoring progress.
With the help of EHRs, the world is moving towards a paperless society. More and more people are relying on electronic health records to manage their health. While behavioral health professionals are using EHRs to manage patients’ treatment and progress.
So what should you be looking for to find the best EHR for behavioral health?
Why Are EHRs Important for Behavioral Health?
EHRs can help providers and patients better understand health conditions and allow for greater access to care. EHRs also help providers with the treatment process, which reduces patient complications. These changes can help the patient get better and return to a healthy lifestyle.
EHR Fundamentals for Behavioral Therapy
Before considering transferring a patient’s protected health information (PHI) to an EHR software system or a location that is not entirely under your control, you have to consider HIPAA rules and regulations. You need to do it.
HIPAA designates all healthcare providers (including mental health and behavioral health providers) who submit medical information in electronic form through transactions adopted by the Health and Human Services (HHS) standards as covered entities.
Consider these HHS transactions with standards:
- Payment and remittance advice
- Claims status
- Coordination of benefits
- Claims and encounter information
- Enrollment and disenrollment
- Referrals and authorizations
- Premium payment
You are not required to adhere to HIPAA compliance requirements if you don’t complete any of these transactions electronically. Nonetheless, the majority of individuals relate privacy requirements and safeguards to HIPAA compliance.
How do you think someone would react if you told them you don’t comply with HIPAA while working in the medical field?
If your EHR is HIPAA-compliant, you can be sure the location you store your patient records complies with the requirements of the HIPAA Security and Privacy Rules. And, if a patient inquiries, you can inform them that their information is kept in the best EHR for behavioral health that complies with the HIPAA regulations.
What is the Best EHR for Behavioral Health?
SimplePractice and TherapyNotes are two of the most popular EHRs for behavioral health practices. Both systems give a wide range of services, the flexibility to extend beyond a single supplier if necessary, and what appears to be favorable customer support. Both also provide a free trial period of 30 days.
Although there are undoubtedly other possibilities, the majority of Compliancy Group’s clients, small behavioral health providers with EHRs, employ one of these two services. The ideal EHR is the one that works best for your practice, assuming the EHR you’re considering is fully HIPAA compliant.
Do Small Behavioral Health Practices Have Access to Free EHRs?
We did discover a couple of “really free” EHRs, but they are all flawed in their own particular ways. For instance, Sessions Health does have a “freemium” level with all the capabilities of their commercial version but there is a limit to how many clients’ records can be stored. The product appears to be HIPAA-compliant, has a long list of capabilities, and may be a decent choice for someone looking to make the switch of EHR’s or just starting a little side practice.
Be extremely careful if you discover a “really free” EHR with a comprehensive feature set that satisfies your demands. The conventional wisdom is that if something is offered for free, you become the product.
Last Observation of EHRs for Behavioral Health
Cybercriminals tend to attack EHR systems because of the types and amounts of valuable data housed there, using the same reasoning that drove Willie Sutton to loot banks (“because that’s where the money is”). Even if your business is excluded from HIPAA regulations, most states demand patient notification in the event that a patient’s PHI is compromised. You should always have that in mind.
If you think using HIPAA compliant EHR is the whole process then you’re wrong. It is just one piece in the puzzle that is compliance. Is your practice completely HIPAA compliant? Compliancy Group offers a total HIPAA solution that the APA, NAATP, BHCOE, and other top medical association trust for their members.