Care of the Caregiver: Juggling Care, Self-Care, Paperwork. Can a Behavioral Health EHR Help or Hurt?
Juggling…with One Hand Behind Our Back!
Providers are constantly building upon their understanding of the struggles that their clients face. New developments lead the way as practices consider and reconsider the effectiveness of their programs. Often they are working with hands tied by bureaucracy and by the limited availability of resources, and the limited time they have with their clients.
What results is a juggling act in an atmosphere or crisis; managing, maintaining, and building organizational structure in concert with effective and evolving program design, while also considering the immediate needs of the individuals they serve.
Mental and behavioral healthcare centers are primarily designed with the focus on the programs and services they provide. While there is no denying the importance of this to a degree, this somewhat displaced attention takes its toll.
It’s a classic “one hand behind the back” effect: while attention is being directed to programs – clients and tools and paperwork, oh my! – the organization itself (and more importantly the people who work there) begin to crumble and fall apart. What results may be increased stress, vicarious trauma, or managerial practices that take on a tone of dysfunction and dissatisfaction.
Forget about ME…
When workplace drive is noticeably flagging, what’s strange is that administration tends to further lose sight of the people involved. Increased complaints, passive or passive-aggressive communication, signs of stress, lack of self-care and collective communal care are often met with some version of the motto: the client is more important than the individual…with the added insinuation that it’s okay if this is at the expense of the individual. That or similar messages ride side car to an administration that will only fall deeper into crisis motivated managerial tactics.
By any other name, this would be called ‘codependency’. And by exposing the normalization of this in care settings and addressing the implications honestly – while sticky stuff – actually allows agencies to suppose a structure that increases program effectiveness while it minimizes dysfunction throughout the organization.
When considering resources for this overhaul, the piece concerning Behavioral and Mental Health EHRs and other technology within the workplace has too often been under-developed or overlooked due to the belief that we just don’t have time to slow down and clean ourselves up. But to do so allows us remake ourselves so that we have a chance at even greater success.
What’s an EHR got to do with it?
A poor EHR choice runs the danger of further adding cause to low morale within your organization. The frustrating inability to assign reason to senseless record-keeping practices and the continued stress of being unable to make sense of the company’s EHR technology makes it difficult for care providers to access or share information and may also affect their time spent directly with clients.
This compassionate understanding asks organizational leaders to authentically reexamine the big picture effects of an EHR that is not meeting the needs of their practice. While the process of finding a new EHR may seem exhausting, it’s important to recognize that to neglect to do so may unintentionally harm those that we are trying to serve.
And cheer up: more than a decade of expansion in relevant tools and technologies that support this transformation are available to make this as painless as possible. At everythingEHR we take it as our responsibility to research, develop, locate, and provide resources for your growing practice based on an understanding of your unique EHR needs.
Keeping the Faith
Throughout our journeys we haven’t lost the faith; our assumption is that, while it may not be observable, the majority of organizations do seek to honor the rights and needs of staff as equal to the populations they serve. We believe that they haven’t had the tools necessary to make this transformation. Taking the time, seeking assistance, and making changes, practices have greater chances for success.
We have learned that it is our diverse perspectives within our small advocacy group that inspire and motivate us to come together for a purpose. This unified purpose is to help transform mental and behavioral healthcare practices so that they may more effectively serve their clients. Our ideas – offered in a spirit of engagement and sharing through our blog, direct advocacy, and online radio program – are our part in helping you help the valuable, vulnerable, and often voiceless people you serve.
At everythingEHR we support organizations in realistically understanding and addressing the effects of a destructive EHR. It is our hope that we may better assist the mental and behavioral healthcare community in making future choices that constructively impact their organization – as a whole.
If you have questions please feel free to email us.
Tags: Behavioral Health, EHR, EHRs, Electronic Healthcare Records, EMR, Mental Health, Mental Health News Radio, Mental Health News Radio Network, MHNR Network, Software, Technology, Telemental Health