Both research and crowded airplanes are proof that that business travel is once again taking off. Having recently returned from three industry conferences this spring, we can say that’s definitely the case.

In recent weeks, we’ve attended NatCon22 in Washington, D.C., produced by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing; ATA2022 in Boston, the world’s largest telehealth event; and the 21st annual Generations Behavioral Health Conference in Salt Lake City. While at each of these events, we had the opportunity to connect live with those who have influence over the technology strategy and purchases at their health care practice or clinic. And although they’re happy to be meeting with people in person again, one thing became clear – they’re frustrated with the state of their electronic health record (EHR) software. 

In meeting with C-level staff and technology directors from across the country, we heard time and again that many want to optimize the EHR system at their organization and simplify processes, but they are hesitant to do so. Here are the three reasons why that we hear most often. 

Unclear pricing structures

Unfortunately, I hear quite often that a company’s current EHR provider requires them to pay for any changes that may be needed.  That leaves them feeling chronically nickel-and-dimed. The provider may charge to make any EHR changes and API integrations, albeit slight. Further, they talk about their EHR’s new and exciting features, but require additional fees to utilize them. Because these enhancements can greatly improve the EHR process – and ultimately patient care – a quality EHR provider should be upfront about its billing structure and outline the exact costs beyond just the monthly fees – so that the organization can more effectively plan for these enhancements. 

Implementation hurdles

Implementing a new EHR is like swapping out your vehicle’s engine while still driving 60 mph. It can be scary. An EHR provider should act as your partner and work closely with the internal team.  Communication, support, and also compassion, go a long way to making the implementation process run smoothly. EHR vendors should explain not just what needs to happen and by when, but also why the change is happening and what it means for the organization. One best practice we’ve discovered in mitigating new EHR implementation risks is to utilize a Communication Plan Toolkit. This can help manage the most important facets of the implementation, which is how, what and when to communicate to your staff during the transitional process.

Revenue cycle management challenges

Whether a behavioral health clinic has 15 employees or 1,500, the organization often has challenges getting paid. Issues with revenue cycle management can result in a substantial loss of revenue each year. However, this can be overcome when the EHR software is built to ensure that claims are submitted accurately the first time. A system that has human error automation aversion technology inherently designed in the software can significantly improve revenue cycle management, drive growth, and minimize risk for the organization. Clinicians are then better positioned to focus on what’s most important – improving patient care. 

An EHR solution like Axiom is designed to help behavioral health care providers be more productive, eliminate multi-system chaos, and achieve better patient outcomes. Built on a modern platform specifically for health care organizations, Axiom simplifies the complexities involved with EHR implementation through its user-friendly interface. To learn more about Axiom, check out https://hmsfirst.com/axiom-ehr. 

In the meantime, we’re ready to head back out on the road! Next up, you’ll find us at one of three upcoming conferences organized by Open Minds: the Strategy & Innovation Institute in New Orleans; the Management and Best Practices Institute in Newport Beach, Calif., and the Executive Leadership Retreat in Gettysburg, Pa. We hope to see you there!

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