Electronic Health Information Systems adoption in Mental Health

7 01 2013

Forty-six states (94 percent) are either incorporating or planning to incorporate electronic health records in state psychiatric hospitals and planning to support their use in community mental health systems.  SAMHSA, Characteristics of State Mental Health Agency Data Systems, the report’s overview describes the increasingly crucial role IT plays in helping the states provide mental health services.

Public mental health services increasingly rely upon their IT systems to provide essential functions such as:

  • Monitoring the public mental health service system for service gaps
  • Ensuring that persons living with a mental illness receive timely, appropriate, and needed services
  • Reimbursing mental health providers for services provided
  • Building accountability performance targets and outcome measures.

These findings demonstrate that state mental health agencies are devoting considerable resources to improve their mental health information systems by installing EHR systems, building data warehouses, linking multiple data systems, and enhancing the capacity of their information systems.

Source: SAMHSA



Health informatics (also called Health   Information Systems, health care informatics, healthcare   informatics, medical informatics, nursing informatics, clinical   informatics, or biomedical informatics) is a discipline at the   intersection of information science,   computer science,   and health care. It deals with the resources,   devices, and methods required to optimize the acquisition, storage,   retrieval, and use of information in health and biomedicine. Health informatics   tools include not only computers but also clinical guidelines,   formal medical terminologies, and information and communication systems. It   is applied to the areas of nursing, clinical   care, dentistry, pharmacy, public health, occupational therapy,   and (bio)medical research.


An electronic health record (EHR) is an evolving   concept defined as a systematic collection of electronic health information   about individual patients or populations. Sharing can occur by way of   network-connected enterprise-wide information systems and other information   networks or exchanges. EHRs may include a range of data, including demographics,   medication and allergies, personal stats like age and weight, and billing   information.

Each healthcare environment functions differently, often   in significant ways. It is difficult to create a   “one-size-fits-all” EHR system. An ideal EHR system will have   record standardization but interfaces that can be customized to each provider   environment. Modularity in an EHR system facilitates this. This customization   can often be done so that a physician’s input interface closely mimics   previously utilized paper forms.

At the same time they reported negative effects in   communication, increased overtime, and missing records when a non-customized   EMR system was utilized.  Customizing   the software when it is released yields the highest benefits because it is   adapted for the users and tailored to workflows specific to the institution.

Source: Wikipedia

AdvanTec CSM – Health Services

Client Services Manager

Professional Practice Management

  • CSM-MH
    • Mental Health
    • Psychology
    • Counseling
    • CSM-GH
      • Group Homes
      • Residential
      • Day Centers
      • CSM-AC
        • Assisted Living
        • Hospice
        • CSM-PT
          • Physical Therapy
          • CSM-PCS
            • Persona Care Services
            • In-Home
            • CSM-CT
              • Clinical Trials


CSM – Professional Services

  • CSM-SE


Fully Integrated

  • Practice Management
  • Scheduling
  • Billing
  • Meds Administration
  • Accounting
  • EDI
  • Maintenance
  • Transportation
  • HRS

Quality Care Metrics in Health Services: Mental Health, Assisted Care, Group Homes

26 06 2010

A while ago I posted a discussion on several mental health and counseling groups, seeking  comments on quality metrics for Mental Health.  The topic was prompted by the verbiage in recently passed federal  health care legislation where paragraph after paragraph kept including  the term quality care.

Based on feedback and discussions we have arrived at and implemented the following quality features: divided into two groups:


  • Audit trail: event driven records of all activities in the practice
  • User defined Templates – throughout to assure consistency and quality of comments while still enabling  case specific modification.
  • Spell checking of all notes and comments to assure professionalism and readability.
  • Built in drug and diagnosis code templates – to avoid errors
  • Notes that are locked on completion to avoid tampering
  • Program compliance tracking to assure complete and timely performance
  • Forms management to print correct form on demand
  • Document management to scanned documents and files to be attached and achieved with case
  • Bar code document tracking – issued, received checked in , checked out
  • Data Slice technology that restricts  case information access  to assigned personnel
  • Integrated accounting and  billing to assure accuracy
  • e-signatures to assure locked documents are signed
  • e-prescriptions integrated with  meds management to assure accuracy


  • Consistency of care case notes about the client: what works and what doesn’t that are shared with clinical workers assigned to the case
  • Best practice notes: based on diagnosis and treatments but without client reference to be shared with all practice professionals at level
  • Statistical Subjectivity Goal Charting : to graphically depict clinician assessment of treatment history effectiveness
  • Consumer satisfaction survey on exit — aggregated to client and clinician satisfaction index — measure consumer assessment of effectiveness

These are some of what we have come up with if you have comments and or can think of more we can do please advise.   We being a  provider  of an integrated suite of practice management, scheduling, accounting and billing  software for: mental health, assisted care, personal care and group homes,  were interested in making sure that we could support these quality care initiatives.  We are proud of our software and what we have done but recognize that you are the experts and we support your needs.

learn more:  www.findsocialservicesoftware.com/hsg.aspx

Economic issues Impact on Health Care

5 10 2009

Economic issues Impact on Health Care

Cutbacks in Medicaid Funding!

  • More people applying to Medicaid – due to economy.

Though many of the proposed Medicare cuts and the ones already in progress are frightening and difficult, at best, to deal with, the thought of more Medicaid cuts puts more pressure on the people that need the program most.”

“The problem is that rather than helping keep the benefits for people, once someone has lost them, the state and county end up paying untold thousands of dollars for emergency room visits that take the place of doctor visits. Keeping people on Medicaid and allowing new ones to get on it save the state and county money, short term and long term.”  The Medicaid and Medicare Center   (http://medicare-medicaid.com/tag/medicaid-cutbacks/)               june30th, 2009


  • 10% unemployment is roughly a 5% increase in unemployment over “normal” and therefore causes a comparable 5% decrease in income tax revenue.
  • Less revenue in state coffers for (Medicaid) matching funds – due to lower tax revenues
  • Unemployment is projected to grow to 10.1 percent by 2/2010 and stay there for a while.

“Looking ahead to next fiscal year, the outlook is that FY 2010 almost certainly will be a very difficult year, with the potential for widespread program cutbacks and provider rate cuts that will affect millions of Medicaid beneficiaries.”  The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. January 2009

Federal Stimulus Program misses the mark!

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)

  • Section 5001: Increased Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP)
  • Section 5001 of the ARRA provides eligible States with an increased Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for 27 months between October 1, 2008 and December 31, 2010
  • Even though the Recovery Act provides more federal money the problem is that it requires the states to come up with more money to qualify and the states are stretched thin already by reduced tax revenue.


What does the future hold?

  • Economic indicators show that the recession has bottomed out and started a rebound.  The banking, Wall Street, and housing industries are picking up.
  • Unemployment is a lagging indicator and will not show improvement till later.
  • Additional provisions and expenditures of the Stimulus package will go into effect in 2010 and may provide additional help to the economy.

So things should continue to improve.

But what can Service Providers do in the meantime?

All businesses (including health services) consist of the following three components.

  • Labor: Professional Services – patient contact hours (labor)
    • Labor can be automated – for tracking and monitoring but professional contact hours cannot be eliminated.  They can be optimized and made more efficient but when it comes to the physical care services they still must be performed by people.
    • Plant:  Physical Goods and Facilities: drugs, materials, clinics, and associated utilities
      • Drugs and materials can be negotiated and cost reductions from bulk purchasing
      • Facility expenses can be reduced by providing services remotely or off-site reducing the amount of physical facilities required.
      • Administration:  Paperwork, compliance, documentation, management, tracking, error prevention, fraud prevention, privacy protection, reporting, certification, training, communications, scheduling, billing, accounting, etc.
        • Administrative  overhead which is a very significant expense is the most fertile area where expenses can be reduced with Information Systems Technology


We provide IT solutions for Home Health, Mental Health and Group Homes that can improve your operations and reduce your expenses.

  • Schedule / sign up for a webinar on our Human Services solutions
  • Call to set up a session with one of our consultants to work up a demonstrable return on investment model (ROI)

We may not be able to totally offset the impacts of the economy and funding cuts but we assuredly can help.

www.findSocialServiceSoftware.com     www.advantecis.com

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