After physicians have considered that they want a specialty-specific EHR such as a Mental-Health specific EHR, they need to look at the following factors to determine the vendor as well as the components of the software they hope to purchase.

Size of the Practice

With the myriad of software being sold by thousands of vendors, along with the various demands by physicians, there are some EHR software that are built to facilitate larger practices while others are built, designed and developed to cater to small and medium sized practices. The size of the practice is usually determined by the number of physicians working at the practice.

On-Site (Client Servers) VS Cloud Technologies (SaaS)

Currently, vendors are offering two different types of technologies for data storage, access and retrieval. Client servers or on-site or on-premises refers to when the software is installed on the physicians own system and the data is stored at their own servers. In this method, the physicians have to bear the costs and expenses of physically storing hardware such as servers, systems and also handle maintenance and upgrades of these systems, which can be costly. Physicians do not have the time to worry about these things hence they will be required to hire additional IT staff, adding to the overall expenses of the practice.

Awards and Certifications

One of the most important factors that Mental-Health practitioners need to consider before selecting their Mental-Health specific EHRs is to check if that EHR is backed by the industry standard certifications and have the support of being awarded by regulatory bodies. Some of the important certifications to consider are the ONC-ATCB Certification (Office of the National Coordinator – Authorized Testing and Certification Body) and HIPAA compliance, which regulates the usage of patient health information, keeping privacy and security of data as a priority.

Furthermore, it is important to consider Mental-Health related features in the software such as specific diagnostic and procedural codes, ePrescription capabilities, handwriting and speech recognition, as well as the ability to manage reminders and alerts.

Pre-designed templates for Mental-Health should include components for Mental-Health ailments such as schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, ADHD, Autism, personality related disorders and issues related to substance abuse.

Although selecting the right Mental-Health specific EHR can be overwhelming, through the above mentioned factors, physicians can have an easier time selecting the best EHR for their practice.