Mental Health News Radio

Behavioral Health EHRs: A Walk in the Cloud

BehavioralHealthEHRCloudAs advocates for agencies who manage valuable patient information we are asked daily which EHR a behavioral health provider should choose.  Buzz words are often thrown around such as “cloud-based” and “web-access”, which for many still are intangible terms when it comes to record security and applicability.

Cloud Computing

More than a decade ago, engineers figured out ways for data and software to be distributed efficiently across several machines and their power pooled for collective use. In the simplest of terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of a computer’s hard drive.  A cloud computing platform refers to the efficient management of systems and networks of data storage over the Internet.  The term itself is an airy metaphor for systems of intelligently orchestrated global networks of millions of computers, harnessing, using, and then renting huge amounts of computing power.  It no longer matters which servers are running a job or from where; it is just inside this “cloud” of machines. 

A Thank You for Myles

mylesandbuddyToday was special for Myles.  He’s been visiting patients for about four years at the same place, every week. Puppy Prozac is what he’s called and the only time he was “off duty” was for a few months this year with a foot injury. He is getting older so we spend more time on the floor rolling around rather than chasing tennis balls up and down hallways.  

 

He’s big for a Border collie – big boned – a gentle giant. Hips are giving way a bit so jumping up is not welcome, although he does try. I was laughing with some of the patients today about how we used to spend an hour with him waking everyone up. No one could stay in their hospital rooms with Myles barking and running after the ball – especially when we purposely slammed them into doors. I remember being in the elevator and a nurse on the floor beneath the behavioral health unit joined us. She asked if we could ever come downstairs because they can hear us having so much fun. “Fun!” she said. Who would have thought FUN was part of a mental health ward? It is though. Even with the slower pace. Even with the focus on eating treats and getting his hair brushed, it is still fun. People are still smiling when he shows up and the one’s who weren’t are smiling when we leave.  

Behavioral Health EHRs: What is the Cloud?

Cloud

We are asked on a daily basis which EHR a behavioral health provider should choose to run their organizations. Buzz words are thrown around like “cloud-based” and “web-access”.  While it is true that the technology world is going the way of all things in the cloud, what exactly is the cloud?  

When a software company tells you they are “in the cloud” what does that mean exactly? How do you know your data isn’t sitting on one or two dusty servers somewhere with your patient data being backed up to a less than secure source in someone’s office? Who has access to this patient data? How often are passwords changed and updated on these servers? Are these servers all in the same location or spread around the country?

 

With a stable and financially secure behavioral health EHR vendor it means your data is:

  • Hosted on multiple servers in multiple states
  • Backed up to secure sources
  • Set up so that if your EHR goes down you are back up and running immediately with minimal to zero data loss (meaning your data lives and breathes on more than one server)

A Possible Reprieve for Behavioral Health EHR Vendors and Providers

championA possible reprieve for healthcare providers and vendors has been announced that may approve an extension of the Meaningful Use timeline.  What does this mean to our mental health providers and vendors?  

The only vendors we support are those that have already passed Meaningful Use Stage 2 Certification for 2014.  We are in full support of how this possible ruling will help our behavioral health providers and organizations.   We are also, once again, proud of our vendors that have already met 2014 requirements.  The Behavioral and Mental Health vendors we support have the funds (staying power) to meet exceedingly strict regulations without the need for this reprieve.  

This is yet another question to ask an EHR vendor.  Did they need the reprieve?  Have they passed MU2 already?  

Read the full article posted on Healthcare IT News here

Are You in a Co-Dependent Relationship with your Behavioral Health EHR?

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Heard Any of this Before? 

None of our other clients are having the issues you are having.

Our other clients have been able to figure this out.

You haven’t spent enough time training on the software.

Who can we work with at your practice that will get it?

How comfortable are you with software?

 

Helping behavioral health providers find the right electronic health records software is our business.  There are so many choices, the entire process of finding the best EHR can be daunting.  Even more of a challenge is moving from one EHR to another.  Many mental health organizations will stay on a system that did a great job of getting them off of paper, but is not robust enough to keep their practice moving forward.  

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?

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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