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While mental health professionals need to prioritize providing patients the attention and care they need, administrative tasks such as scheduling, billing, and regulatory compliance constitute a large part of the everyday operations that can’t be ignored.
Mental health software can help with these tasks and more, saving you time that can be better spent focusing on providing quality care.
Here’s what this buyers guide will cover:
Mental health software is a tool that helps physicians, therapists, and other professionals involved in providing mental healthcare manage clinical, administrative, and operational workflows such as patient scheduling, outcome management, and regulatory compliance.
The software is also known as behavioral health EHR software.
Most mental health software solutions are cloud-based and thus lean toward subscription pricing models, typically charged monthly or annually. However, there are a few on-premise options as well, which are based on a one-time license pricing model.
Cloud-based software is hosted on the vendor’s or a third-party’s cloud servers and is accessible through any device connected to the internet. The vendor is responsible for maintenance, upgrades, support, and data storage.
On-premise software is hosted on the users’ business servers, which means the individual user organization is responsible for managing maintenance, upgrades, support, and data storage. The software can be accessed only on devices connected to the user organization’s internal servers.
Key questions to ask a vendor before you buy:
If we choose the on-premise option, what can we expect in customer support when things don’t work as planned?
How many people can we support with our preferred plan? How much will the cost increase if we need to accommodate more users?
Can users access the full platform through web browsers or will they need to download a desktop application?
How often is the cloud-based system updated? How disruptive are these updates?
Information about the common features of mental health software will give an overview of the basic functionalities you can expect and help you identify additional features important for your practice.
Initial assessment management: Conduct biopsychosocial and psychiatric assessments to identify mental health conditions and concerns such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.
Biopsychosocial assessment clinical intake in Therasoft
Treatment plans: Determine the treatment regimen for patients based on initial assessments and sessions. The regimen engages a patient as an active participant in his/her treatment and can be tailored to the individual.
Treatment plan in TherapyNotes
Electronic health records (EHR): Create and securely store patient records digitally. The EHR functionality allows mental health professionals to prepare charts and take progress notes to document sessions.
EHR dashboard in AdvancedMD for Mental Health
e-Prescribing: Generate and send electronic prescriptions directly to a patient’s preferred pharmacy. With the extension of usability on mobile devices, some tools allow sending prescriptions from mobile devices as well.
e-Prescription in Practice Fusion
Appointment scheduling: Automate the process of scheduling patient visits and reduce no-shows and cancellations.
Appointment scheduler in EHR YOUR WAY
Key questions to ask a vendor before you buy: Mental health software features are not limited to the ones listed above. Ask vendors about additional functionalities that would benefit your practice:
What third-party applications will we be able to integrate with the software?
What data security measures do you have in place?
Is it possible to integrate our laboratory to send lab orders electronically?
Is there a patient portal for patients to access their health data?
Does the system track metrics such as patient demographics?
Can the system generate downloadable reports?
How does billing and invoicing work within the system?
How does the system assist with insurance management?
Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context, and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations, obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.
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