28 Jun Ways Technology Can Improve the Efficiency of Your Practice
As a behavioral healthcare provider, you know all too well that running a successful organization involves much more than providing quality care for your clients. The reality is, you cannot provide effective care if you neglect the operational elements of your business which also require your time and attention. Patient care is the priority, so the logistics of running a practice must be handled as efficiently as possible. And while using the right technology can make you more efficient, it should also allow you to provide better care for your clients too.
Electronic Health Records
The value and importance of electronic health records (EHRs) is universally recognized. As a behavioral healthcare provider, you need to seek out an EHR solution designed specifically for your workflows and the needs of your clients. Client records need to include more than a list of symptoms. The forms you need to collect, measurements of success, and the clinical outcomes model you choose are all elements that should be integrated into your EHR system. An EHR that is designed to accommodate the unique needs of a behavioral healthcare provider can significantly improve the efficiency of your practice by consolidating the information you want to keep about your client in one place.
Creating electronic versions of your current assessments can significantly improve the efficiency of your practice. Digitizing your assessments will speed up the process so you always have access to your client’s information, right at your fingertips. If your practice has an ASAM license, many of the standard ASAM assessments are already available in a digital format. Integrating them with your EHR is the next step to creating greater efficiencies–something a robust behavioral health-specific EHR should be able to handle with ease. And, if you have your own standard assessments, be sure to partner with an EHR that allows you to import your forms without significant costs or workarounds–so you don’t have to alter your own workflow.
Billing is an area that can significantly impact the efficiency of your practice. Nothing slows you down more than having to shift your focus from patient care to billing issues. If you do not have a billing department for your practice – or have more work than your billing department can handle – integrating better technology or outsourcing your billing will help. Behavioral health billing can be a complex process that includes a number of variables. There are some tasks that technology can help you streamline in order to improve efficiency with billing. For example, a robust EHR system can handle a wide range of complex tasks such as checking clients’ insurance eligibility, translating data into proper billable codes, and generating validated claims that are less likely to be rejected by insurers. Every aspect of the billing process that you can outsource or automate will free up time for you to focus on other areas of your practice.
Clinical and Financial Outcomes Reports
It is essential to keep up with the clinical outcomes of your clients and the financial outcomes of your practice. The two measures are becoming more integrated with one another as behavioral healthcare moves toward value-based care. The right tools can make it simple and efficient for you to generate the reports you need without having to go through every piece of data you collect. Having a way to quickly generate reports and measure outcomes will also help you maintain compliance, meet insurance requirements, and keep your organization fiscally sound. A high-quality EHR should provide interactive and customizable dashboards that allow you to generate customized reports with real-time information on the financial status of your practice, the progress of your clients, or any combination of data that is relevant for you. Remember–no margin, no mission.
Offering teletherapy to patients is another way you can improve the efficiency and reach of your practice through technology. Teletherapy offers access to services for patients who cannot meet in person, whether it’s for health or logistical reasons. Adding an integrated teletherapy option can increase efficiencies for your practice by eliminating missed appointments, and reducing no-show rates. It also gives your own staff the option of working remotely, so they have more flexibility with their own schedules.
Quality patient care is always the top priority in a behavioral healthcare organization. The methods you use in therapy and the resources you provide during treatment both have a direct impact on client success. The clinical outcome measures you use can help you quantify the progress of each patient and the success of your organization. Technology can help you improve the efficiency of your practice in some key areas, allowing you to invest in the success of your clients and your practice.