Meeting clinical documentation requirements and standard of care needs is critical to all licensed psychiatrists and mental health providers. Psychiatry practices can take advantage of customizable psychiatry templates within an EHR to save time and money. Unlike other specialties, psychiatry templates in particular are best customized with respect to the user’s specific communications needs.
Proper templating can be a challenge when a psychiatry practice uses an EHR that isn’t built for mental health professionals. The result is that the doctor has to develop their own templates and then update them manually to keep up with any changes to the practice or regulations affecting the practice. This lowers productivity, especially for small solo practices that do not have the resources to make constant customizations.
The best way forward is to pick an EHR that is psychiatric-specific with customizable templates built into the workflow. The advantages include increased convenience and ease of use, improved patient care quality, and time savings. The system should include a user-friendly interface, unique psychiatry-related components, comprehensive data capture and database design, and practice management/multiple resource management modules.
EHR-Practice Management Compatibility
Many late EHR adopters already use practice management software applications. Some EHRs are compatible, or can be designed to be compatible, with an existing practice management system. The EHR’s ability to communicate with the PM system and other health information technology is important for ease of use and interoperability.
Customizing the mental health EHR to include specific components (such as those needed by child/adolescent or geriatric psychiatrists, adult psychiatrists, assisted living psychiatrists, substance abuse/treatment facility psychiatrists, inpatient and outpatient psychiatric programs, community mental health centers, institutional mental health in prisons, U.S. clearance and military assessments and evaluations, and rural mental health and psychiatry programs) or the addition of frequently-used tests and rating scales can also improve user satisfaction.
Customizable templates allow the mental health provider to pre-select documents and tools.
Selecting a certified EHR is another important consideration. During the certification process, authorized bodies perform a complete EHR (and/or an EHR Module) testing process. ONC-ATCBs must test and certify EHRs according to applicable criteria as per the HHS Secretary under the Standards and Certification Criteria Final Rule.
Certification signifies that the mental health professional’s selected EHR technology possesses the capabilities needed to support practice efforts while meeting meaningful use goals and objectives.
Customizable psychiatry templates can save your practice time and money and improve user satisfaction. Even if you already have a good process, it also does not make sense to try combining a number of tools when an all-inclusive integrated EMR can do it better and more efficiently.