Helping Your Organization Adapt to Managed Care: A Checklist Tool

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Managed care contracts and other value-based care initiatives require behavioral health and human services organizations to work in new ways. Traditional fee-for-service models engage consumers, utilize staff, and manage payment in different ways, and as more payors adopt value-based care principles, behavioral health organizations are working to adapt.

Managed care brings a greater focus on outcomes, closer attention to utilization, and a change in payment structures. When your organization is on the journey to work effectively in managed care, you must ensure that three key leadership teams are aligned around changing goals and the strategies you need to get there successfully:

Each team has a special role to play and unique skills and perspective to bring to the table. Download our Managed Care Mountain checklist tool to help your teams work effectively to prepare for the transitions managed care requires throughout the organization.

Shopping for an EHR Using a Strategic Approach

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Are you part of an EHR search team? If so, you know that it can feel a little overwhelming. Trying to vet dozens of technology vendors and understanding how the nuances of their platforms will meet your business needs is an important yet complex task. We’ve heard this over and over from our customers – which is exactly why we decided to develop a comprehensive, vendor neutral manual to help behavioral health and human services organizations simplify the entire EHR shopping evaluation process.

How to Select the Best EHR: The Guide for Behavioral Healthcare Executives can help you:

In addition to sharing best practices and proven strategies from HIT peer organizations and industry consultants, How to Select the Best EHR: The Guide for Behavioral Healthcare Executives also includes worksheets and templates that walk you through the entire assessment process.

To learn more about taking a strategic approach to your EHR search and what you should expect from the right technology partner, download How to Select the Best EHR: The Guide for Behavioral Healthcare Executives.

Best of luck to you on your journey finding the right EHR for your organization!


“Selecting an EHR is one of the most important strategic decisions your organization can make. Our team made a commitment to the process from the beginning.”


Compliance Officer, LifeSkills,Inc.,
Bowling Green, KY


Qualifacts Publishes How to Select the Best EHR: The 2018 Guide for Behavioral Healthcare Executives

New, Comprehensive Guide Helps Organizations Discover Right EHR Technology to Best Meet Current and Future Needs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. February 13, 2018 — To help simplify the complexity of evaluating electronic health record (EHR) vendors for behavioral health and human services organizations, Qualifacts today announced that How to Select the Best EHR: The 2018 Guide for Behavioral Healthcare Executives is now available online.

“Buying an EHR can be daunting if you don’t have the tools you need to navigate that process,” said Todd Charest, Chief Product Officer at Qualifacts. “If you think about it, being part of a team charged with choosing a new EHR may only happen once or twice in your career. So, if you don’t have that prior experience to draw from, what do you do? That’s why we developed this buyer’s guide that takes a methodical, vendor-neutral approach.”

This 63-page manual, How to Select the Best EHR: The 2018 Guide for Behavioral Healthcare Executives is designed to help organizations feel more confident about finding the right EHR technology to meet their current and future needs. It includes helpful strategies for organizing an internal search team, identifying your data needs, building an EHR-capabilities scorecard and more. And in an effort to build upon industry-wide best practices, the guide also includes insights and proven strategies from HIT peer organizations and industry consultants.

“I consistently hear from customers that they were overwhelmed when shopping around for EHR vendors. And, they run the risk of experiencing a failed implementation which could have a lasting effect on their career,” said Robert Patten, Senior Director of Operations at Qualifacts. “This guide is a compilation of 20+ years of best practices we’ve learned when working with our customers to help them avoid those traps as well as successfully select and implement this technology within their unique organizations.”

Click here to download Qualifacts’ How to Select the Best EHR: The 2018 Guide for Behavioral Healthcare Executives.

About Qualifacts Systems, Inc.

At Qualifacts, we empower our behavioral healthcare partners to achieve better client outcomes. We help simplify complexity through our responsive customer service and robust enterprise EHR solutions, ensuring our customers have the tools and insights needed to deliver quality care and demonstrate clinical and financial value. For more information visit


EHR Scorecards: Taking a Quantitative Approach

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If your behavioral health and human services organization is shopping around for a new Electronic Health Record (EHR) system, it may seem like a daunting task to evaluate the many options before selecting the platform that’s right for your organization. Simplify the complexity associated with the evaluation process by using an objective, EHR scorecard approach driven by data.

This reduces your risk of selecting a solution based on opinions alone, or making a decision without comparing vendors side by side on the most important capabilities needed by your organization.

To help you get started, below are some of the components you should consider including in your scorecard. You can also use the scorecard template we’ve in the downloadable, vendor-neutral How to Select the Best EHR: The Guide for Behavioral Healthcare Executives. This comprehensive guide can help walk you through the process of shopping for a new EHR from start to finish.


Download How to Select the Best EHR: The Guide for Behavioral Healthcare Executives


Building Your EHR Scorecard: 8 Tips

1. Start with your people and make a list of the team members who need to use the EHR

This likely includes:

  1. Intake/Front Desk/Scheduling
  2. Billing/Finance
  3. IT
  4. Clinical/Medical
  5. Executive/Leadership
  6. Quality/Outcomes

(Refer to the guide’s Organization Overview worksheet)

2. Outline the key tasks and workflows each of those team members perform

This should include both manual and automated tasks. (Refer to the guide’s Workflow worksheet)

3. Once you’ve documented what your team members do, you should also layer in additional information related to any specific needs they have in regard to devices and internet access.

(Refer to the guide’s Organization Overview worksheet)

4. Include any specific business challenges your organization currently faces

When you define your agency’s greatest challenges, you can evaluate your technology options based on if (and how) they could help solve those issues. (Refer to the guide’s Pain Points worksheet.)

5. Make a list of all your current capabilities as well as goals for additional capabilities

This should include core capabilities such as treatment planning and scheduling in addition to nice-to-have elements that may be unique to your organization. (See the guide’s EHR Goals and EHR Capabilities worksheets)

6. Document your integration needs

Consider the other organizations or systems you integrate with today, and whether you have any additional integration or interoperability needs. Between the 21st Century Cures Act and other shifts towards coordinated care, a platform’s ability to share electronic health information (EHI) is important to assess as well. (See the guide’s Integrating with Other Organizations worksheet)

7. Define your organization’s data requirements

If your agency is moving toward a value-based care and reimbursement model, you will need to demonstrate performance and care quality via outcomes measurement. What type of information will you need to collect —and report on — via your EHR? What data does your clinical team need to reference at the point of care to drive clinical decision-making and outcomes performance? (See the guide’s Defining Your Data Needs and Consumer Data Management and Risk worksheets)

8. Compare information about each vendor’s pricing model

Outline the type of expense (licensing, implementation fee, service and support, new features, upgrades, etc.) so you can easily compare the estimated price of each EHR platform option. (See the guide’s Pricing and Funding worksheet.)

Creating scorecards for each of your Electronic Health Record candidates will help you narrow down your technology options and more clearly identify the platform that supports the needs of your organization. Good luck in your search!


5 Essential Elements of a Strategic Plan for EHR Buyers

In a way, your electronic health record (EHR) platform serves as the backbone of your organization. It touches nearly every aspect of your daily operations and is used by team members in clinical, administrative, financial and executive roles enterprise-wide. That’s why it’s so critical that you develop a comprehensive strategic plan as part of your EHR search.

By outlining where you organization is going and external influences that may shape your future, you are better positioned to secure an EHR platform that can support your entire team and keep your organization running smoothly.

To help simplify the process of selecting the right EHR platform, download How to Select the Best EHR: The 2018 Guide for Behavioral Healthcare Executives. This 63-page manual provides additional strategies you can use as part of a thoughtful EHR vendor evaluation.

Download How to Select the Best EHR: The Guide for Behavioral Healthcare Executives

1. People

Since your people are at the heart of your organization, it can be helpful to take the time to think through any planned or potential staffing changes that may occur. Whether you’re staffing up or down, ask potential EHR vendors if their pricing model takes into consideration the number of licenses you need to purchase.

2. Process

Your internal processes drive workflows throughout your organization. If you assemble a multi-disciplinary team (which is highly recommend) to evaluate your EHR options, ask each team member to identify key processes that may change down the road. Internal changes like switching to an outcomes-based treatment plan or adopting new reimbursement models can impact your EHR needs.

3. Governance

Healthcare is one of the most tightly controlled and monitored industries in the U.S. and your EHR needs to support those requirements. When evaluating various EHR platforms, be sure to include your compliance officer or a consultant who specializes in behavioral health and human services. He or she can walk you through changes on the horizon that may impact how your team collects data and reports on that information.

4. Technology

In your EHR search, you’re not only evaluating the technology itself but also its ability to integrate with other systems, Health Information Exchanges (HIEs), labs and consumer engagement applications. Identify the type of information you’d like to send to and receive from external applications to see which of your technology choices can support your interoperability needs.

5. Execution

Lastly, it’s also beneficial to evaluate potential changes in how you deliver client care. For example, as part of your growth plans do you plan on acquiring other organizations or opening up additional offices? Are you going to expand your service lines? All of these things can impact how your team leverages an EHR to support better outcomes.

Creating a comprehensive strategic plan as part of your EHR selection process can help your organization identify the best technology option today – and well into the future.





4 Telltale Signs That You Might Need a New EHR

We get it. Your team has been complaining about your current EHR. But, you’re not quite sure if you’re ready to make the leap.

While there isn’t a “perfect” length of time in terms of how long you should hold on to your existing platform, there are several symptoms of underperforming technology. Check out our list below to discover four telltale signs that you just might need a new EHR. If any of these sound like your behavioral health and human services organization and your contract is scheduled to expire within the next year, download the vendor neutral resource How to Select the Best EHR: The Guide for Behavioral Healthcare Executives. It can help you kick off meaningful conversations within your organization about whether your current EHR is still right for you.  

Download How to Select the Best EHR: The Guide for Behavioral Healthcare Executives

Common Symptoms of Lagging EHR Technology:

1. Clinical staff are unable to engage with consumers to give them a more proactive role in their health

Multiple studies have shown the benefits of offering tools and resources designed to encourage a more active and engaged client population. In one meta-analysis, researchers found that texting patients can increase medication adherence for chronic disease patients from 50% to 67.8%. Most advanced EHR platform are designed with interoperability in mind. Can yours integrate with other patient engagement applications?

2. Care providers report that they don’t have enough time to spend with clients.

Since treatment plans need to be customized to address the individual, providers need to be able to customize their EHR workflows accordingly. If your clinical staff spends more time trying to find “work-arounds” or resort to paper-based records, this could be a signal that your EHR is ready for an upgrade.

3. Unexpected audits are time-consuming, nerve-racking and chaotic.

Typically, what is your organization’s experience with compliance audits? Were you able to quickly and easily provide the requested documentation to show that your workflows support the Golden Thread? Did you experience any negative repercussions as a result? Quickly and easily capturing and delivering the necessary clinical documentation is absolutely critical for any behavioral health and human services organization. Does your current EHR platform help – or hinder you in this regard?

4. It’s difficult to document care quality to support new reimbursement models.

In value based care models, the accountability shifts away from the payer and on to the behavioral health care agency. To qualify for incentive payments, you need to be able to produce the right documentation outlining outcomes and usage. Are you able to easily mine data from your EHR?

Finding the right technology may seem daunting at first, but if you arm yourself with information and find a trusted advisor in your EHR vendor, you can navigate the complexities associated with the process. We’re here to help.

3 Simple Strategies for Creating a Research Team Charter When Shopping for a New EHR

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Starting the process of evaluating EHR vendors? Don’t forget to create a team charter first!

To help keep your team on track throughout the process, it’s incredibly helpful to create a charter document, or framework, up front. It outlines key components of the buying process including:

To help you get started, here are three simple strategies your team can use to create your own charter documentation.

1. Your Organization’s Strategic Vision

Healthcare is an ever-changing landscape and your organization is likely no different. Where do you see your organization in the future? Do you have plans for expanding services or acquiring other facilities?

This information can help ensure that you select technology that meets your needs today – and well into the future.

2. Assessment Criteria

Electronic Health Record (EHR) platforms can offer a vast array of components and capabilities. Everything from scheduling to treatment planning to claims adjudication and patient billing. Given that, your team will likely have a lot of information to review about each EHR platform when conducting your evaluations. To avoid information overload, consider outlining the key pieces of information and functionality your team will review during your search.

3. Process

Outlining the process your team will follow can help you set expectations and create a clear path forward. Your charter documentation should include key operational processes such as:

The process of evaluating EHR vendors may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are proven strategies you can use to simplify and streamline the process. To learn more about this and other strategies and access helpful resources and worksheets, be sure to download How to Select the Best EHR which takes a vendor neutral approach.

Download How to Select the Best EHR: The Guide for Behavioral Healthcare Executives


How to Buy an EHR: Navigate your next EHR search like a pro

A few times in your career, you may get the chance to make a decision that makes a long-lasting impact on your organization and the people you serve. Buying an EHR is one of those times. In any behavioral health and human services organization, the EHR is the thread that ties all your work together, from client contact, to data gathering and analysis, to treatment planning, to outcomes measurement, to coding and billing. Analyzing and selecting the right EHR for your organization’s needs takes a multidisciplinary, methodical approach.

You won’t be surprised to hear that we have some thoughts on how you can navigate the EHR selection process, but this isn’t a sales pitch. Instead, we want to let you in on a vendor-neutral conversation about inside secrets that savvy behavioral health organizations can use to make a smart EHR decision.

Check out our webinar covering the EHR selection process, and you’ll learn from a behavioral healthcare organization and a consultant (and Qualifacts!). This webinar conversation shares multiple perspectives to give you insights that ensure you feel confident in your process and preparation for this essential decision.

You’ll hear from Scott Bell and Art Stockton from Life Skills, Matt Hoffman from Afia, and Robert Patton from Qualifacts.

Key takeaways:

Watch the webinar recording: Definitive Guide to Buying an EHR.