Why You Should Use A SaaS Electronic Health Record
Posted By FidelityEHR on January 02, 2016
Why care managers use behavioral electronic health software as a service (SaaS)
Many clinicians across the United States are starting to use software as a service (SaaS) electronic health records and behavioral health records. One of the biggest benefits of cloud-based data management solutions is that it alleviates the burden on in-house IT staff.
The key to finding the perfect cloud-based electronic health record for your organization is making sure that it:
  • Meets HIPAA/HITECH/FERPA compliance regulations
  • Is user-friendly and recommended by credible organizations
  • Continuously undergoes user testing
  • Is flexible and easy to customize to fit your organization's billing and reporting needs, as well as targeted practice models, such as High Fidelity Wraparound or Coordinated Care models

Are you still debating whether or not a cloud-based software as a service electronic health record is right for your organization?

Here are 8 reasons why behavioral health care managers, and systems of care are making the switch to SaaS:

1. Better Access
Finding the right electronic health record means making sure that it is HIPAA/HITECH-compliant, secure and cloud-based. It also needs to have an adaptive server that allows for real-time elasticity. This means that, as bandwidth demands and database grow, the server's capacity automatically expands with it. As a result, users are delivered a more efficient user experience and faster system response time. Having an accessible program also means having one that properly secures your important data, while backing it up by storing a database redundancy. 
2. Faster Uptime
One benefit of using a SaaS EHR is that the development is already done. You can implement the software and customize it to fit your organization's unique needs in just months instead of years. When software is implemented quickly, it improves change management processes and makes it easier for the organization to adapt. 
3. Automatic Upgrades
Instead of relying on your in-house IT team to perform upgrades, which takes time and money to maintain, your vendor will make sure that your EHR software is updated and secure. Unlike IT teams, who often have a lot of different tasks, your electronic health record SaaS provider's developers are dedicated solely to improving the utility, efficiency, security and user-friendliness of the EHR. They can apply upgrades quickly, with minimal risk and significantly lower adoption costs. 
4. Seamless Data Integration
Another thing that you must consider is scalability. Whereas some servers may have capacity issues, you want to make sure that your SaaS can scale indefinitely to meet customer demand, while offering customization capabilities to meet specific, localized needs. It also needs to provide seamless data integration. This means, that your existing database systems and electronic health records, including medical electronic health records, are securely embedded into the new system. When you find the right EHR, nothing will get lost in the woodwork.
Extra Bonus Points: These go to SaaS electronic health records for behavioral health that combine both medical and behavioral health records to capture a holistic view of the individual's well-being over time. This allows case managers and team members, which may include medical professionals and clinicians, to understand the complete picture of the individual's Plan of Care in conjunction with their physical health, prescription history and medical background.
5. Accommodation and Flexibility
The SaaS platform needs to ensure various service configurations are created on an individual basis. This mean that the software should be able to contain as few as a single service provider, or as many as are needed. When it comes to user roles and permissions, these need to be easy to customize to make sure that the right people have access to the information that is most critical to their specific role in the Plan of Care. 
6. Fast Reporting
Accurate and meaningful reporting is critical to any care provider and system of care, but it doesn't need to be a headache. A good Software As A Service EHR will let you quickly access data and customize reports that meet your specific needs. Users should be able to quickly take raw data and then shape it into clear, user-friendly reports. 
7. Great Usability

Software should make your life easier... right? Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. What differentiates okay EHRs from great ones is their ability to direct each use to a unique configuration that matches their unique needs. If they are only involved in a piece of the plan of care, they should only be able to see information that reflects their specific role and tasks. The software should also help team members collaborate, communicate and review progress on their cases. 

8. Customizable Workflows

Have you ever used software that was so cluttered that you needed to dig deep into the system in order to find what you were looking for? Care managers are busy! They should be able to quickly log on, do what they need to do, and then carry on with their next task, instead of spending time clicking through a cumbersome dashboard. Based on your desired workflow, the software should be flexible and allow you to make changes to your dashboard views so that you can quickly find what you need - no more digging for data! 

Do you work in wraparound or a System of Care? Learn more about the first evidence-based electronic health record for behavioral health:

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