The Value of System Personalization in an Electronic Health Record for Behavioral Healthcare Providers

System personalization.

That’s the keyword when searching for a new electronic health record (EHR). Put as simply as possible, system personalization (or customization) means the EHR is tailored to accommodate the organization’s needs, requirements and workflow.

So how do you know what you’re getting in an EHR? Here are some options available:

  • A “one size fits all” software. What you see is what you get. That’s it. No discussion. Usually a low price point with little value.
  • A software that makes your staff do the heavy lifting. You have to hire or have trained a person(s) to learn how to create templates/forms and do all updates required annually as state, federal and payer requirements change. For any other personalization requests, a pretty hefty fee for programming changes are charged. Or you are forced to use the new plug in that the vendor just bought or added. No choices there.
  • An EHR vendor that offers personalization of your organization’s forms from each department. So time and money already spent on creating forms, can still have value for staff to continue to use what works best for them.

System personalization ensures you have the features you need

Raise your hand if this sounds familiar: an EHR is advertised as having everything you could possibly need, and you’re charged as such. But when you actually use the system you’re left with too many features you never use, and the ones you do need to use require too many clicks or searching in too many places to find?

No solution is ever the “one size fits all” answer. Healthcare isn’t; why would healthcare software be? A specialty specific EHR can eliminate the gaps that the use of a more generic EHR creates in Addiction Treatment or Behavioral Healthcare services. Behavioral Healthcare programs, levels of care, outcome measurement standards, assessments, evaluations, are all very unique. Add withdrawal management, medication assisted treatment, office based opioid treatment to services offered, and the gaps in a one size fits all solution widen, overwhelming most providers, causing reimbursement and audit problems, besides burnt out staff.

Next option, whereby your staff is responsible for creating, maintaining and updating forms can end up causing an increase in operational expenses and a decrease in revenue, since staff that were seeing patients are now spending time updating forms. If done properly, personalization provides the assurance that providers are getting exactly what they signed up for, not wasting time designing and creating forms instead of seeing their patient load.

Bundled system personalization makes more sense

One of the biggest factors holding providers back from adopting new EHRs is the fear of the unknown. Change is hard, and no two EHRs are exactly alike.

So what if prior to your “going live” you were able to submit all the forms that you have spent time and money creating and have the EHR vendor create for your review. What if you had a chance to review a master library of forms that are reviewed yearly by Joint Commission and CARF auditors for all levels of care and programs to make sure you may not be missing a section of questions that would be needed? What if you had a business model that was growing and you wanted to take billing and claims submission in house? Wouldn’t it make sense to find an EHR and RCM solution that would personalize and set up your organization right, pre “go-live”, so you are not dealing with multiple vendors pointing fingers at each other when they don’t play well together?

Of course even customization takes a little time so do not put off your evaluation of EHR and RCM solutions. The right set up, training and implementation process makes the conversion process easy. Take the time to evaluate what you want your staff dedicating time to, a revenue generating service or a costly task. That includes your IT department, whether in house (maybe another hat someone wears) or outsourced.

Take a look at recent 2019 reviews and evaluate customer service and support. Your move to a better solution also means you want an ongoing partnership not just a one-time sale.

AZZLY is a nationwide healthcare technology company. Our solution AZZLY Rize™ is the premier addiction treatment and behavioral health-specific all-in-one EHR and RCM billing software. Learn more about our implementation process here. To receive free demonstrations of the software, fill out this brief online form.

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