What is an Electronic Health Record System?
EHR stands for Electronic Health Record System. There is a growing list of organizations that offer Electronic Health Record systems for medical practices. For years, I’ve used Simple Practice. The system, Simple Practice, is an Electronic Health Record System that directly focuses on mental health practitioners who are operating a counseling practice.
Electronic Health Record Systems are built to fit the demands of specific medical businesses. For instance, a large medical practice may need a different Electronic Health Record System when compared to solo counseling practice.
How to use Electronic Health Record System?
As a professional counselor when you can use Electronic Health Record System in ample ways. Below are key areas that you can use with an Electronic Health Record System.
I’ve been a loyal fan of Simple Practice for years and love what they are putting out. That’s why I continue to recommend them. If you decide to try Simple Practice, please use my referral link. It’s at no cost to you and gives me a referral point.
What to look for when choosing an Electronic Health Record System?
Below are key items to look for when choosing an Electronic Health Record System (EHR) for your counseling business. As you read over the list of key items feel free to contact me if you would like further support connected to leveling up your counseling business.
When you choose an Electronic Health Record System make sure that it allows you to collect payment. This will save you from some nasty headaches. Most Electronic Health Record System comes with some sort of capability that allows you to take cash, check, and electronic payment. This makes the process of working with clients streamline.
When I started a counseling practice, I did not use an Electronic Health Record System. I went old school and it really cost me in time. I would spend time creating PDF invoices and connecting the invoice to a separate payment system such as PayPal. Though this process works, it’s vital to identify systems in your business that streamline processes.
One of my favorite features that comes with simple practice is that it has integrated intake documents. The Electronic Health Record System comes with standard intake questionnaires, assessments, consent forms, and other documents that take a lot of the work out of the clinicians’ hands. In addition, it’s easy to edit the document. You can edit with your name, your personal practice information, or even adding a logo.
I assume that you have some documents and templates that are unique to your counseling practice? For me, it’s my specialty service of conducting immigration evaluations. By the way, if you want to learn how to add the service of conducting immigration evaluations check out the clicking here.
The Electronic Health Record System Simple Practice lets you create your templates. You can create inventories to give to clients, consent forms, intake questioners for individuals, kids, or even couples, and more.
In a recent podcast episode, what successful private practice owners. The topic of mindset and standing out was covered. I think it relates to the very documents that we use. In your practice take time to create documents that speak to your client. This can be as direct as the intake document to homework that you give for therapy-related treatment.
Simple Practice has an online scheduling platform that is like magic. I think it’s important to identify all the ways that potential clients can find you. Some clients will want to directly call your office to schedule an appointment. Others would prefer to schedule with you without having a conversation upfront. This is where the online scheduling platform can come in handy. In addition, if you have established clients, you are able to give them the tool to schedule online. This makes things a little bit easier on them because they do not have to spend time on the phone.
Online scheduling also helps to promote a stronger marketing approach. For instance, you are able to create ads that have a link labeled “schedule now”. Clients are able to click the link and be sent to the landing page that gives them access to your appointment calendar. This makes the scheduling process fast and easy.
When building a successful counseling practice, it’s important to explore the term accessibility. Consider how you give access to your clients. Do you provide face-to-face and online counseling? I use Simple Practice because they have secure and HIPAA-compliant video software. The system lets you engage in teletherapy sessions.
Before you decide on an Electronic Health Record System explore how many clients you will typically see at once. If you run groups versus individual counseling, then you’ll have a different answer. You may see eight clients at once versus one. Because of this, it is important to find an Electronic Health Record System that meets your needs.
We are in the counseling field as mental health professionals. Our job requires us to handle documents that include case notes and even insurance information. As such, it’s vital that we take time to identify an Electronic Health Record System that is confidential, private, and HIPAA compliant.
If you are searching for a confidential Electronic Health Record System, check out Simple Practice. You can use Simple Practice by clicking here or follow the link to use my referral link: https://www.simplepractice.com/?p=7df8188b5b
If you are enjoying the read, I want to encourage you to check out the podcast, A Counselors Journey To Private Practice. You’ll learn everything from marketing to leveling up your therapy practice.
I want to tell you something about my original process of appointment reminders when I started a counseling private practice. It makes me laugh today. I would one by one send individual appointment reminders by text and email. That took so much energy and time. I do not regret it, I think looking back it was part of my journey. Learning and growing every step of the way.
When you select an Electronic Health Record System, I strongly encourage that you find one with an appointment reminder system. This will make it easier on you and provide those that you serve with a supportive tool. At the end of the day, life is busy. Our clients have very demanding lives and by giving them an appointment reminder. Well, it goes a long way. In addition, it’s one less thing that you must manually do and now have some free time to work on other projects.
How do you support your clients outside of the therapy room?
I have provided consulting for a good number of counselors in private practice that give their clients homework. I think this is wonderful. A way to level up your treatment approach so that you are supporting those you serve in more ways than one. To some degree, clinicians communicate with those they serve using messaging systems such as email.
When you pick an Electronic Health Record System, try to find one that includes secure and private messaging. This will ensure that you are HIPAA compliant when communicating with your clients outside of the session. Simple Practice has one integrated into their system.
They basically have this medical portal that is for the client. Inside the medical portal, you are able to message the client. It’s almost like texting. The client receives an email to their email box that lets them know you have sent a secure message. They open the email to find a link that takes them to the medical portal where they can continue to chat with you.
If you plan to take insurance in your counseling business, then having a system that processes insurance is a must. Electronic Health Record System such as Simple Practice can have integrated systems that allow you as the provider to send and receive claims with the click of a button. There is an additional fee that goes with the service. It is worth every penny.
Most clinicians do not enjoy the task of navigating insurance. It can be a nightmare and really pull a therapist away from their clinical work. I can share my story and tell you how many times I have spent on the phone for hours upon hours speaking with insurance representatives.
So, if you have a practice that takes insurance consider an Electronic Health Record System that has the process streamlined for you.
In your counseling practice, you accept payment. You may accept payment in the form of cash, check, or card. You may accept payment in the form of insurance.
I want you to think about how long it takes you to complete the payment transaction process? Hopefully, the answer is minimal time. If not, then it’s time to find an Electronic Health Record System that can speed up your process. I use Simple Practice as you know. The Electronic Health Record System lets you engage in standard billing practices.
You can use the system to electronically send invoices. This allows your clients to receive the electronic invoice and complete their payment on the backend. Overall, this takes work away from you and allows you to focus on what you want to focus on.
At this point in the reading, you have a choice. Which Electronic Health Record System is going to use?
I stand by Simple Practice and strongly recommend them.
As you think about finding the right Electronic Health Record System for your practice needs consider the questions below as guidance:
- Do I need a system for billing?
- Do I need a system for providing invoices?
- Do I need a system for appointment reminders?
- Do I need a system for insurance billing?
- Do I need a system for online scheduling?
- Do I need a system that is HIPAA compliant?
- Do I need a system that allows me to create templates for my clients?
- Do I need a system that stores clinical records such as client notes and treatment plans?
- Do I need a system that lets me communicate with my clients in a secure way?
If you answer YES, then that simply means that an Electronic Health Record System would be a great fit for your counseling business.
The last question or concern that you may have is connected to the fee. How much will it cost to have an Electronic Health Record System by Click here to check out the price for Simple Practice?
To support creating invoices and superbills click here.
How much does it cost for an Electronic Health Record System?
When it comes to the price that you will pay for an Electronic Health Record System there is typically a base price and then fees for additional add-on services. The additional services depending on the needs of your business.
As you focus on the price that you will pay for an Electronic Health Record System consider what you will save and earn. Let me give you an example so that it makes sense. Let’s say that you charge $100 per hour. You spend 2 hours doing services that include sending appointment reminders and submitting claims to insurance companies. You decide to pay for an Electronic Health Record System that costs $65 per month.
You now shift your operations. You spend the 2 hours with clients and earn $200. From the $200 you spend $65 on the Electronic Health Record System. This leaves you with $135. Now let’s compare that to the original setup. The key point to take away is that your time is more valuable than the $65 fee. This simply means that if you spend your time working, you’ll see a stronger return and will directly benefit from the Electronic Health Record System. As you read over the details above, you’ll notice a shift in mindset. Check out this blog on the top 5 shifts therapists need to make in private practice. You may find it helpful.