Use Your EHR for Mental Health Marketing

 A lot of discussion that takes place around electronic health records is rarely about the system’s ability to provide marketing tools. Often, the discussion centers on the clinical abilities of the software, billing, and ease of use. Any system that is gathering data should be able to give you that information back in a manner that allows your agency to market its services.

An example of that would be collecting data that assists agencies with marketing, by evaluating a client’s satisfaction with services. Feedback informed treatment, a recognized evidence best practice that utilizes patient self-report questionnaires, combined with feedback, enables an improvement in outcomes from the patient’s perspective.

Your agency’s electronic health record should allow for client feedback through the use of self-reported patient questionnaires administered after each session. At the practice level, the therapist must be able to use the EHR to manage and monitor outcomes at the time of service, giving the therapist the opportunity to improve outcomes for their patients. For larger systems, the software should allow payers to identify high performing providers. With the data collected, you should be be able to look at outcomes on a system wide level that will validate the treatment being provided across your entire system of care.

In marketing your organization, the ability to demonstrate that clients are receiving effective care is critical to your success. You must be able to demonstrate that treatments are working based on the outcomes the patient is attempting to reach. Having software that will allow you to provide feedback informed treatment will directly impact the quality of services.

What must your software be able to do in order to make feedback informed therapy work for your agency or program?

  • The software must be automated, meaning all screens in the system have the ability to communicate with each other.
  • The software must be able to pull specific data to a report or customized dashboard.
  • The system must allow for the client to fill out the patient questionnaire privately. The patient should be able to utilize the agency’s web site or a patient portal to complete the questionnaire.
  • The system should be capable of calculating the data in a format that is useful for the clinical staff and the marketing staff.
  • Selected data should be able to migrate directly to the agency’s website.
  • The software must be outcome-based, measuring outcomes both subjectively and objectively.
  • The system cannot be click and go. It must force the clinician to create a person-centered plan that focuses on the outcomes the client wants to achieve.


Having data that demonstrates the effectiveness of your program or clinic will become very important as the system moves to value-based payments and integrated care. Your organization will need to market to many different payers. The electronic record that you select must be able to meet the requirements of every group you will be doing business with. Patient satisfaction, as well as being able to demonstrate that people are getting better, will become more important than the treatment methodology used to meet client outcomes.


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