No two psychiatrists run their practices exactly the same way. Every office manages a daily roster of patient visits, outreach to other providers, insurance panels, and billing. When a new electronic health record system is put in place, it’s important to be able to measure the project’s return on investment (ROI).
Here are some ways to help you calculate your overall ROI:
Measure Short-Term Operating Efficiency Improvements
Successfully incorporating an EHR system into a busy psychiatry practice requires commitment. Providers must view implementation and workflow redesigns as time-saving tools. Consider these early (and measurable) operating efficiency benefits:
- Save and retrieve patient files from a single access point.
- Streamline provider and patient calendars and add new patients. The office can send screening and patient history forms to the new client prior to the patient visit date.
- Improve management of patient insurance claims: Integrated billing tracks and prompts action concerning insurance requirements and denied claims.
- Data entry time savings: Input data by creating and using pre-populating frequently used forms and templates.
- Prescribe patient medications to a chosen pharmacy through the EHR.
Measure Improved Patient Quality of Care
Generally speaking, an electronic health record that interfaces and communicates well with other systems increases collaboration between the psychiatry office and other members of the patient’s medical and wellness team. An EHR can save time for everyone involved by facilitating effective, efficient communications. Communication can be one of the most effective ways to improve patient quality of care.
Measure Patient Outcomes
Adding outcome measurement to the psychiatry or psychology practice can guide a providers’ quality improvement and improve patient outcomes. Healthcare reforms and legislation push providers to use an integrated care model and, like the measurement of short-term efficiency items mentioned above, the right EHR can help the provider office and patients alike.
The ideal EHR for any mental healthcare provider should include template customization, including specific questionnaire and screen modules. It should also allow the provider to send and receive patient information prior to a visit through a secure patient portal.
Finally, the EHR can be used to validate the provider’s steps and process throughout the patient’s treatment.
Achieving a positive ROI is a realistic expectation for practices of all sizes. The right EHR system can help behavioral health practitioners schedule visits, follow-ups, and streamline patient care communications. Measuring those improvements will help determine your overall return on investment.