Mental Health Care Providers Lagging Behind In EHR Usage, Technology

The medical industry has widely embraced EHR (Electronic Health Record) technology because it has proven to be a powerful tool for improving the quality of care and lowering costs. But the benefits of EHR go much further. This software technology improves accountability, enhances public engagement and fosters a rapid development of new therapies.

But there is one sector where usage of EHR is lacking far behind – in the mental health field. In fact, in the Journal of American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA) found that 27.3% of patients suffering from depression were not diagnosed in their provider’s EHR data. Those with bipolar disorder were left out at a rate of 27.7%.

The situation is even more troubling in that patients’ records of health care treatment were almost nonexistent in primary health records. Furthermore, 90% of acute psychiatric services received in a hospital were completely absent from EHR data.

The JAMIA article also reported that software designed for behavioral health EHR is lagging far behind all other categories of health care.

In layman’s terms, this means that providers of behavioral mental health therapy treatment are at a distinct disadvantage because they do not have the ability to share information about patients and their history of contact with the rest of the healthcare industry. Knowing the full picture about a patient’s healthcare profile vastly increases the chances of getting better treatment and a better outcome.

That’s why mental health therapy providers are scrambling to ramp up or update their Behavioral Health EHR with a new generation of software designed specifically for clinics offering behavioral therapy. Just one huge advantage is keeping ahead of numerous government regulations.

Additionally, behavioral health EHR makes it easier to bring billing “in-house,” streamline processes and help a providers “scale up” and grow their business.

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