Psychiatry practice management software is a professional tool that allows you to seamlessly record your patient notes and create custom reports. It also provides an email reminder service, so you can manage your cases more effectively by keeping up with appointments and getting important information sent directly to your inbox.
In this guide, we review the aspects of Psychiatric Practice Management Software, software for psychologists in private practice, emr for psychiatry, and management of psychiatric patient.
Psychiatric Practice Management Software
We know that you’re busy, so we’ve put together this guide to help you choose the right psychiatric practice management software. By reading this article, you’ll learn more about what makes a good piece of software for your practice and how it can save you time and money.
What is psychiatric practice management software and how does it benefit my practice?
Psychiatric practice management software is a system that helps you with the administrative tasks of your practice. It can help you manage patient information, billing and other tasks, as well as improve efficiency and productivity.
You may have already heard about this type of software from colleagues in other specialties who use it to streamline their practices, but what exactly does it do? Simply put, psychiatric practice management software assists with the day-to-day tasks that come along with running a psychiatry practice. These include everything from keeping up with records to communicating effectively between different members of your team.
Moreover, psychiatric practice management software can save you time by reducing paperwork or manual data entry; improve patient care by making it easier for patients to access their medical records; increase revenue by helping you take advantage of insurance reimbursements; reduce overhead costs such as staffing costs; and much more!
Features that every psychiatry practice needs in their software
Here’s the list of features that your practice needs in order to advance smoothly:
- Ease of use: Your software should be easy for you, your staff and patients to navigate. It should also be able to handle all the basic functions of a psychiatry practice such as scheduling appointments and ordering prescriptions.
- Integration with other systems: Integration with existing medical office systems like electronic health records (EHRs) and labs can help streamline patient care. This way, no one has to waste time on duplicate data entry or manual paperwork.
- Customization options: A customizable system allows for easier reporting on performance metrics such as average wait times for appointments or patient satisfaction scores so that you can adjust accordingly.
- Patient data management capabilities: This means keeping track of details such as billing information, mental health diagnoses and medications used by each individual client in order to provide them with better care over time.
Is psychiatric practice management software difficult to use?
A psychiatric practice management software should be easy to use. Ideally, it should have an intuitive interface that’s user-friendly and not too confusing. You don’t want to waste time trying to figure out how the system works or what certain features are for—the software should just make sense from the get-go.
Additionally, a good software will have a good support team to help you with any issues you encounter along the way. A good community of users who share tips and tricks can also save you some time and frustration as you get accustomed to using your new software toolset.
Web-based, cloud-based or on-site?
You have three options when it comes to installing your software: web-based, cloud-based or on-site. Each has its benefits, so decide which one works best for your practice before you begin the installation process.
Web-based systems don’t require any installation and can be accessed over the Internet through a browser (like Chrome). This means that you don’t need to install anything on your own computer, but if you want to use all of the app’s features while offline or away from a network connection then this type of system isn’t for you. After all, if there’s no internet then there’s no app!
- Cloud Based Software
Cloud based software stores your data remotely in “the cloud” (a virtual server hosted somewhere else), meaning that there are no local installations required and everything is managed remotely by an external vendor like us here at ClinicalDocs™ . It also gives users access from multiple locations without having to worry about additional hardware requirements because everything is up in space somewhere else! The downside here is that not everyone likes using technology products that are offsite; some prefer having their own servers where they can control what happens with their information rather than trusting someone else with it – especially when sensitive patient information might be involved!
What’s the best way to learn about psychiatric practice management systems?
To find the best psychiatric practice management software, you first need to know what to look for.
- See it in action. The best way to get a feel for how a particular piece of software works is by checking out its demo version and playing around with it yourself. Be sure to check out how the interface looks, how easy it is to navigate through the program, and how responsive and intuitively designed the buttons feel when you click on them or interact with them in any other way (e.g., clicking “Save” after making an edit). A good piece of software will be simple yet powerful enough for you not only to track your patients but also make changes and updates as necessary—and do so without much effort or frustration from either party involved (you or your patient).
- Talk with sales representatives about their product offerings and compare notes on which ones might suit your needs best based on what they offer (if anything) specifically geared toward psychiatrists (or at least offering tools helpful for psychiatrists). Ask about their customer service reputation: are customers happy? Would they recommend the company? Do employees seem happy working there? You’ll want someone who knows what they’re doing when answering these questions; if not, then why would anyone think that person could help me choose something that suits my needs as well as possible?
Getting the right software for your practice can save you time, money and stress.
Our psychiatric practice management software helps you manage your business more efficiently, allowing you to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time helping your patients. We have a wide variety of features that make it easy for you to create and manage patient treatment plans, schedule appointments, pay claims and more. Best of all, our software is backed by a company with a great reputation in the healthcare industry.
software for psychologists in private practice
Therapists are often the administrator, scheduler, office manager, marketer, accountant, and banker of their own practices. If this sounds familiar to you, you’re likely spending more time than you anticipated on tasks that are not focused on your career goals: helping people. You want more time to focus on bringing value to your clients, but the tasks keep piling up, and you may not be in a position to hire staff.
In an increasingly technological age, many mental health professionals integrate online software and applications into their processes to help them operate more effectively. Not only does it help you re-focus on what you do best, but it is also becoming expected by your clients. 68% of consumers will choose a medical provider who offers the capability to book, change, or cancel appointments online.
Instead of using multiple software platforms to perform different tasks, choose an all-in-one practice management software that allows you to manage everything from a single interface. Investing in comprehensive project management software for your mental health practice will ultimately help you run a more profitable business.
In this article, we break down the top 8 practice management software for therapists, and we explain what features to look for and how to choose the right one for you.
Want to try this all-in-one practice management software that also connects you with clients worldwide? Try Nuna—it’s free to get started!
What is practice management software?
Practice management software is a tool that streamlines the operational processes of social workers, clinicians, and health professionals in general. So instead of you using your notepad, Google Calendar, Zoom and 5 different online schedulers—you have everything in one secure place.
The purpose of a practice management solution is to help therapists with the tasks that pull them away from working with clients. Instead of using separate platforms for client records, appointment calendars, notes, billing, etc., you can do it all with practice management software.
It acts as a centralized hub and patient portal, alleviating tedious administrative work, scheduling, and billing using automation to save you time, energy, and money.
Although therapists running small volume practices might be fine using manual systems to manage their operations currently, they are still missing an opportunity to make their life much easier. Practice management software is perfect for therapists running practices of any size and allows them to continue to scale effectively and serve more patients.
The top 8 practice management software available
Now that you know what practice management software can do and what features to look for, let’s break down the best available options for therapists.
Nuna is a user-friendly practice management software for therapists looking to boost their efficiency and client satisfaction. It has advanced appointment and scheduling features, allowing therapists to receive, schedule, and reschedule appointments in real-time. It automatically sends reminders to both the patients and therapists, so you’ll reduce your no-shows.
Nuna has its own video system built-in the chat, enabling therapists to chat with their patients privately and securely. The chat has screen sharing capabilities, so both therapists and patients can share their screens. This unique feature is hard to find in practice management software but is extremely valuable for therapists offering telehealth appointments.
You can take notes directly in the platform to populate the client’s medical records during the session or after the session, edit them, store them, and send them as needed. There are a variety of different ready-to-use templates, making it straightforward to create and send professional documents. Best of all, the software is free to use!
Nuna isn’t only a practice management software—it also provides visibility and connects clients to therapists. It’s an all-in-one software designed to make every aspect of therapy practice easier, so that you can focus on what’s most important: your clients.
Want to try this all-in-one practice management software that also connects you with clients worldwide? Try Nuna—it’s free to get started!
2. Google Calendar
Many people choose to use Google Calendar to manage their appointments. While it isn’t necessarily a practice management software, it is a simple and accessible tool that everyone can access. You can schedule appointment slots directly in the calendar and share them on your website, allowing your clients to see your availability without contacting you.
Google calendar has a mobile app so that you can check your calendar from everywhere, plus you can integrate it with your Gmail so you can easily respond to requests as needed. While Google Calendar doesn’t have the depth of features that other practice management software does, it is free and still worth mentioning.
TherapyNotes is a cloud-based, HIPAA-certified management system for behavioral health practitioners. It helps to streamline administrative tasks such as taking notes, appointment scheduling, billing, and more. The software includes a client portal and electronic health records with a variety of note templates. The platform allows therapists to create customized treatment plans directly in the software, add notes following evaluations, and update patient progress.
There is also a billing section where you can create billing reports and electronic statements for patients. Its credit card processing capabilities allow clients to pay through the system and save their details to pay for future sessions. The platform is fully encrypted, so you know that all data and patient information is safe and secure. The pricing for TherapyNotes is between €40-€50 per month, depending on your needs.
Doctoralia is an online agenda and practice management tool that helps various clinicians manage their patients more efficiently. It was created by health specialists, for health specialists, with unique functionality aimed directly at those in the healthcare industry.
From the interface, you can manage your whole appointment schedule and synchronize it with your Google Calendar so that you can see it from all your devices. It sends automated reminders via SMS and email to both specialists and patients so that no one misses an appointment.
Doctoralia can store all your patient data on the platform, including recent visits, medical history, treatment plans, etc. It uses the Microsoft Azure cloud security system, ensuring that all sensitive data is protected. Doctoralia will cost you around €66 per month with an annual subscription.
Docplanner.es is an end-to-end solution helping Spanish-language healthcare professionals boost the online presence and operate more efficiently. Patients can find therapists on the platform and book appointments with them. They can also write reviews about their experience with the therapist post-visit. Practitioners can manage their own profiles and calendars through the interface, blocking time off as needed.
Once a patient books, Docplanner.es will send out automated reminders to reduce no-shows and keep their schedule full. The cost to use Docplanner is between €50-€100 per month.
ClinicSource is a cloud-based management software to help therapists with documentation and scheduling. The platform has an electronic medical record where you can find patient invoices, insurance claims, medical history, and up-to-date notes. The patient can also access the ClinicSource portal to see their medical history.
ClinicSource can automatically generate and send invoices based on services booked through the scheduler. Patients can book, edit, and modify their appointments using the intuitive drag-and-drop features, plus they will receive automated appointment reminders. Payment for ClinicSource is on a per-user basis, with packages starting from around €50 per month.
Theranest is practice management software built for healthcare businesses of all sizes, focusing on serving large mental health practices and teaching centers. Theranest has a mobile app that is compatible with iOS and Android, allowing patients and therapists to access their bookings and records easily. All information you enter into the client portals will automatically sync to client accounts, meaning they can see their treatment plans and progress in real-time.
The Theranest platform also has a financial section, where you can set up billing, batch invoices, file insurance claims, and process credit card payments. For larger health practices that have multiple staff, Theranest has payroll, and staff billing features too. Theranest has many different payment plans available based on your practice’s size, starting from about €33 per month.
TherapyZen has been helping therapists to become more efficient since 2016. It’s tailored to those who have little software experience, assisting therapists in platform set up with a user-friendly wizard. Once set up, therapists can take advantage of various useful features such as credit card integration, appointment scheduling, and paperless intake. It is an excellent software for therapists offering telehealth services internationally as they support different timezones, currencies, date formats, and address formats. There is currently no electronic insurance filing feature available on TherapyZen, but it could be something they offer in the future. Pricing for TherapyZen starts from €35 per month for one clinician.
The benefits of using practice management software
The business side of running your practice is essential, but it shouldn’t be taking up more of your time than working with clients. Practice management software can benefit therapists in many ways, allowing them to focus on doing the work they are passionate about.
1. Improved efficiency
Regardless of the type of business that you run, administrative work is time-consuming. This especially true for therapists who have to:
These are just a few of the tasks that practice management software can help therapists with. The more time you can save, the more time you have to see clients and grow your business and brand.
With therapists juggling so many business tasks and staying present in their client sessions, it can be hard to keep organized. Each patient booking comes with a string of other tasks such as scheduling, proper documentation, patient tracking, invoicing, and more. Practice management software enables therapists to stay on track and organized, ensuring they don’t forget any part of the process.
Dealing with patient health information needs to be done securely. You will collect a lot of sensitive data as a therapist and need to be confident that you are storing it safely. A reputable practice management software will keep your client information secure on a protected server.
You won’t have to worry about running constant backups all the time to protect the information in case of a data breach or data loss. There are also liability issues that might come up if you are storing hard copies of patient data, credit card information, or are communicating with your patients through a platform that isn’t secure.
emr for psychiatry
Charm Health helps psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists to document mental and behavioral problems in adults and children. Charm EHR is ONC-ACB certified for meaningful use. It is very friendly to psychiatrists and being web based, you can access your patients’ records anytime anywhere with the help of mobile devices.
Psychiatrists can customize their own pre-screening forms which can be shared with their patients when they book their appointments. These forms will help you gather information about the patient, which will help you to understand the patient condition, even before they check-in for the consultation.
Psychiatry Evaluation Forms
Psychiatric evaluation forms that deal with Adult Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Addictive Psychiatry, etc., can be created and used during the consultation. Patient’s responses to your questions can easily be recorded by using these templates while charting. You can also compute GAF scores based on the responses to know how much a patient’s psychological symptoms impact their daily life.
Psychiatric Progress Notes
Progress notes can be written for each session, where the psychologists can document diagnosis and his observation about the patient. SOAP notes can be standardized, so that all the staff members document the same way, which helps in treating patients accurately.
Psychiatric or psychotropic medications are classified as controlled substances that can only be prescribed by certified providers. Charm EHR supports and allows for electronic prescribing of controlled substances (EPCS) by the psychiatrists with appropriate safety and security standards.
Charm EHR provides a unique ‘Private Charting’ feature, where a patient’s progress and psychotherapy notes can only be seen by his psychiatrist and not by any other psychiatrist or staff in the hospital. This feature provides confidence to the patients that his condition is known only to his provider.
Most of the times patients with psychological disorders feel comfort at their home and such people may also exhibit White Coat Syndrome. Such patients can be treated remotely with the help of remote video consultations. This also helps patients to answer to the psychiatrist’s questions in a calm and comfortable environment.
management of psychiatric patient
Because psychiatric patients are more likely to become hostile or violent than the general patient population, it’s important to take a proactive approach. Here are some specific suggestions to manage these patients and minimize risks:
• Have a policy in place before a problem occurs. To ensure the safety of ED staff, training in assaultive behavior management should be held regularly. Staff should be able to clearly recognize precombative behavior, with a clear protocol in place in the event an incident occurs.
“It’s also important to have regular drills, so the protocol becomes second nature. Assaultive behavioral management is the CPR of mental conditions,” says Ronald Rae, MD, RPh, DAPN, FACEP, medical director at San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital’s ED, the largest psychiatric ED in the country.”It’s a cognitive and behavioral skill you should drill staff on regularly, just like CPR.”
Quarterly drills are ideal for EDs, he says. “I don’t think enough time is spent training staff in this,” he adds. “A big mistake is when there is a code [announced indicating a potentially violent patient], but no one assumes leadership. Then, when something [violent] does happen, everybody is trying to intervene.” Increasing the frequency of drills decreased staff injuries at San Diego County by 10%, he says.
A decision should be made about whether hospital security should be armed. Often, deaths can occur from patients grabbing the weapon off the security guard, he adds. “We don’t allow weapons in our facility, so police have to keep their weapons in the car.”
• Educate staff. For EDs without substantial security at their disposal, frequent drills are crucial to train staff to handle a potentially violent patient. Training could be done by a nurse educator, suggests Rae. Another avenue might be to hire ED nursing staff with backgrounds in psychiatry or substance abuse, as well as emergency medicine, he adds. People trained in both areas would be a valuable asset to any ED.
• Recognize liability risks. Psychiatric patients are more likely than others to refuse treatment. In that scenario, a mental status exam needs to be given to assess the patient’s mental capacity. (See the related article on standardizing the mental status exam, p. 30.) “If you have a patient who is combative or intoxicated, they may not have the capacity to make an informed refusal of care,” says Rae. “The tendency is to say, Go ahead and leave,’ but realize that the patient can come back later with a claim.”
• Be prepared to restrain a patient if necessary. The ED’s policy should address how restraint will be handled when the time comes. “You need to have an organized show of support and a code system,” says Rae. San Diego County’s ED uses a code green if a staff member senses that a patient is becoming violent. The person who calls the code usually continues to run it, and four other people arrive to restrain the patient’s limbs.
“Sometimes the person calms down and can be redirected, but other times they escalate. In that case, we set firm limits, such as Sit down and take your medication,’” says Rae. “If they don’t, a signal is called to restrain the patient. Often, staff do get injured from the trauma of pinning someone down, even if it’s just a minor bump or bruise. Last year, there were 30 such injuries reported, but as a psychiatric facility, the ED sees code greens every day. Regular training keeps such incidents to a minimum,” he says.
It’s important to have adequate restraints on hand. “You need firm leather restraints, but some EDs use soft terry cloth restraints, which aren’t as durable,” says Rae. “They’re used to medical restraints. The problem is, a person can tug and get out of them and can actually hurt themselves more because the band is narrower and puts more pressure on the skin.”
• Consider directing psychiatric patients to a designated ED. It’s impractical to suggest that a low-volume, rural ED should designate space specifically for psychiatric patients. However, when an incident occurs, a restraining area might be needed. Therefore, some EDs might consider having a similar arrangement for psychiatric patients as with severe trauma patients, who are directed to a regional trauma center, suggests Rae.
“It might make sense to have a designated ED, which is better able to handle psychiatric emergencies,” he adds. “It’s ideal to have a couple of semi-soundproof rooms for seclusion and restraint, with a bolted-down bed. That way, you could wheel a gurney into it with the patient tied to the gurney, and, if they de- escalate more, you can take them from the gurney and just leave them in the room in locked seclusion.”
Every state has different requirements, but most require 15-minute checks for patients in restraint or seclusion, regular rotation of limbs if a patient is in restraint, and documentation of bathroom privileges.
“It’s pretty labor-intensive, so you can see why EDs haven’t jumped to doing this,” says Rae. “If you build it, they’ll come, and often these people are indigent, so it’s left back to the counties to provide it. Now, with cutbacks, they’re talking about eventually closing us down and dumping the patients back into the community EDs, which might force directors to develop a better plan.”
• Recognize warning signs. It’s important to respond quickly to any signs of impending violence. The biggest mistake non-psychiatric EDs make is not being aggressive enough in identifying a potentially assaultive patient, says Rae.
“Look at the patient in the waiting room and see if he is agitated, pacing, or yelling. If I saw that, I would realize there is potential for violence, so I’d take at least one other person with me to the waiting room,” says Rae. “I stand eight feet away from the patient and ask how I can help them. If they clench their fists or make any threats, I’ll probably call a code green. On the other hand, the patient may de-escalate, sit back in the chair, and converse with you.”
If law enforcement officials bring a patient into the ED who is behaving in a hostile manner, it is important to restrain the patient before the police leave. “If they’ve been combative out in the field in transport and arrive handcuffed and resisting, yelling, or making verbal threats, they’re an automatic Level 3, which means we’d have the police put them down on a gurney and in restraints,” says Rae.
• Keep abreast of trends in drug abuse in your region. Violent or disoriented behavior is often linked to drug use. Cocaine or crack use tends to cause an acute panic disorder, presenting with chest pain or hyperventilation, while other drugs cause different symptoms.
“This area is inundated with methamphetamine, which is a more behaviorally dangerous drug than cocaine because it lasts so long in the body,” says Rae. “People come in quite delusional and combative, with sleep deprivation and intense paranoia. They’ll respond to a caregiver as somebody who will harm them.”
The drug accounts for fully 25% of the ED’s arrivals, he adds. It’s cheaper than cocaine because it has a longer life, and users get more mileage out of it. Also, there has been a crackdown on international cocaine markets, and methamphetamine can be made in bathtubs or toilets, says Rae. “It’s a real epidemic here, and I think it will be increasing across the nation.”
• Link with local organizations. St. Joseph’s Regional Health Center in Bryan, TX, works closely with a state organization to provide placement for patients who are having psychiatric emergencies. Trained mental health staff at Mental Health/Mental Retardation (MHMR) Services assist with both voluntary or involuntary commitments.
“That keeps the physicians and nursing staff from having to spend hours on the phone, dealing with all the paperwork, and getting the notary signatures,” says Sheila Hejl, RN, assistant director of nurses for the hospital’s ED. “The arrangement decreases the amount of time the patient is in the ED. In our area, we didn’t have a psychiatric call schedule, so we had to call psychiatrists and ask them to come in, and sometimes it would take a very long time,” she explains.
MHMR staff are now used as consultants on-call. “They help us with the disposition, and they also know the resources that we can utilize to help patients after they are discharged from the ED,” says Hejl. They help us deal with the various entities that provide care for mental health patients, from day care outpatient facilities, to counseling, to group therapy, to state inpatient facilities.
The arrangement is helpful to ED staff who don’t see psychiatric patients regularly. “This is one of the most difficult types of patients to deal with because we don’t routinely see them,” says Robert Patton, MD, FACEP, medical director of the ED at St. Joseph’s. “Collaboration with the mental health experts who work daily in this environment gives us a heads up on dealing with this patient and getting them the proper treatment.”