Mental Health News Radio

Myles the Therapy Dog

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Meet Myles

Myles is a registered therapy dog. Currently Myles works at Haywood Regional Medical Center with the Behavioral Health Unit. He has a weekly group therapy session where he teaches humans how to throw him a ball properly. Myles also works at the library. He helps shorter humans read by staring silently at them with no other humans around. His goal is get them to read out loud for at least ten minutes so they can move on to more important things such as giving him treats and throwing him the ball.

Myles is happy to work anywhere he is invited.

Other places Myles has visited are:

  • Hospitals
  • Libraries
  • Daycare Centers
  • Rehab Centers
  • Schools
  • Nursing Homes
  • Private Homes

His handler, Kristin Walker of everythingEHR, is also invited to speak at colleges and hospitals about the benefits of working with therapy dogs.

An Interview with a Therapy Dog Handler

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We asked the questions our readers have been emailing.   Myles of Smiles is a non-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote the use of therapy dogs within the mental/behavioral health community.

N: When you and Myles are working with kids, does he seem to bond with any certain types of children, for instance children with a mental health issue or children with behavioral disorders etc.? 

K: Great questions. I think all the kids need him just because he is such a positive presence. I always feel like I am delivering flowers. Everyone is happy when the flower delivery person shows up. Myles and I are greeted with smiles, cheers, “thank God you are here”, and lots of hugs.  The other day someone said it was our ministry.  I was surprised by this but I guess it is although no one has put me and the word ministry in the same sentence before.

Yes. These are the kids and adults he bonds with the most. He is very in tune with whatever is going on with their moods. He was well trained with moodiness (he is my dog after all :)) Seriously though, he gravitates towards all kids but if one of them is upset in some way he spends more time with them. He is great with kids that are really shy about reading too.

N: Do the children themselves seem to respond differently toward Myles depending on their health issues? Are there children with specific mental health disorders or behavioral disorders who seem to “need” the therapy with Myles more so than other children? If so, how do they show this to you? Does Myles pick up on this need?

Which Behavioral Health EHR Does Your Practice Deserve?

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We were recently asked to describe the moment in our personal journey into the world of behavioral health electronic health record software and record cycle management where we stopped simply selling and became true provider advocates.  

How did this happen?  

Why did this happen?

In our research it had become apparent that the behavioral healthcare market was not likely to be the most profitable.  As a matter of fact we learned that many EHR vendors avoid serving this community entirely.  Although there may be many reasons, one obvious factor is that it’s patients may not be among the wealthiest of the patient communities.  In fact, insurance reimbursements are lower than many other segments.  Mental health advocates feel that the rules and regulations they must follow are often stringent and highly-regulated.  It is definitely a niche market. 

Myles the Therapy Dog: Another Day In Paradise

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Another incredible day! We had a huge group of people mostly on the floor.  Everyone rolled around with Myles.  Everyone got covered in dog slobber and no one cared.  Myles is so cute I can hardly stand it.

First he “notifies” me when it is time to leave for the behavioral health unit at the hospital.  We have been going to this hospital for over 4 years.  It is his FAVORITE place in the universe.  We show up at 3:30pm on Fridays regardless of a holiday.  At about 3pm Myles becomes increasingly anxious and will park himself in front of me.  Being the butler as we call him (because he is so polite) he simply stares at me and waits for me to notice and then looks at the door.  This is my cue to put the laptop down and get his therapy dog vest on him.

He instantly turns into “Myles at work”.  He is very focused.  Typically he stretches out in the car but not on Fridays and not when it is time to work.  He sits straight up and monitors the road on the way to the hospital parking lot.

Is There More Funding for Mental Health Providers? Yes! The State Innovation Model Grant (SIM)

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The SIM Grant

State Innovation Model Grant

When our phone starts ringing off the hook with questions about additional funding for mental and behavioral health providers and organizations, we pay attention.  We have put together some information for our providers and have created our Behavioral Health EHR recommendation list for organizations applying for this funding.  It is important to make sure the EHR is right for your practice.  In one phone call we can help you determine which vendors you should be working with and those you shouldn’t.  Contact us for a complete assessment.  

The State Innovation Models Initiative will be awarding as much as $300 million to participating states and will focus on healthcare organizations that have a high number of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

An Interview with John Hallock and Lindsey Phillips of CareCloud

carecloud-logo-whiteWhy should healthcare providers and organizations care about using an EHR that is Meaningful Use certified?  It speaks to the longevity of a software vendor that they would go through the rigors of certification. Our hats are off to any EHR company that passes certification.  It is a rigorous task and very expensive. Consumers should peel back those layers and make sure what was done to the product isn’t “just enough” to pass.  Check out our CEO’s article on the CareCloud website here about the trials and tribulations of Behavioral Health EHRs.blog-talk-radio

Is your Behavioral Health EHR’s meaningful use certification meaningful?

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There are about 2,500 electronic health record systems. There are quite a few that specialize in behavioral health and others that cover just about any specialty but may include behavioral health. As a consultant to the EHR industry I have watched endless demos and received pricing that ranges from free to a sixty thousand dollar setup fee. Salespeople are a funny breed, especially those in the EHR industry. I spent about three years selling several EHR’s myself. What I found interesting is not what a consumer will find on Software Advice or Capterra. There is a lot of demo trickery, so buyer beware.

Welcome Kellen Stover to everythingEHR

, KellenKellen Stover joins our team as our social media guru. Sometimes age makes a big difference when it comes to all things social media. Having grown up with a keyboard attached to his fingers, Kellen lends his technology skills to our radio show and podcast, Mental Health News Radio, and the EHR vendors that contract our firm to work on their business development initiatives.  

Kellen is our go-to person when technology gets the best of us.  We are not ashamed to admit that the calm demeanor you hear on our radio show is sometimes peppered with panicked looks, texts, and phone calls to Kellen if a guest or caller is having a technology challenge during the show. Patient, technology driven, and able to explain what he is doing when necessary and in a manner we can actually understand: this takes talent. 

Have questions for Kellen

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