For a third year, SMART is showcasing our electronic health record system to opioid treatment providers in Texas. The USAOTP Conference in Austin brings together opioid treatment providers for two days of networking and educational sessions. In the past topics have included regulations, ethics, Medicaid and funding, Methadone treatment issues, and the history of addiction. Attendees benefit from sharing and learning best practices through networking.
The influence USAOTP has on our electronic health record system
SMART Associates value the chance to spend face-to-face time with conference attendees. Further, the expressed needs of the opioid addiction treatment field directly impact the evolution of SMART’s EHR. Helping providers deliver the best in class patient care is what drives the functionalities we build into our opioid treatment EHR. The carefully designed features of our EHR can help to implement efficiencies across treatment organizations.
SMART Management, Inc. developed the electronic health record system, the SMART Solution/SMART Software, in 1991. This EHR was originally created to improve operational efficiency and increase ROI at SMART’s family-owned network of substance use treatment facilities. Since then, SMART’s Cloud-Based EHR continues to evolve as a result of our extensive clinical experience. And it continues to grow with our partner’s needs. Learn more in FAQs or discover other substance abuse treatment and EHR events.
Data security in substance abuse treatment is serious business. Fortunately, SMART’s Cloud-Based EHR complies with HIPAA’s security rule, which requires specific protections to safeguard patient electronic health record information. Our EHR Platform – powered by AWS – builds in these safeguards and AWS adheres to all HIPAA protocols. Moreover, world-class companies like Adobe Systems, Siemens, Expedia, and Netflix rely on AWS. However, this cloud infrastructure is impossible to replicate for on-premises software users. We know there are concerns when considering a move to a cloud-based EHR. But many of these concerns are addressed by the inherent advantages of the platform. Below is a list of security benefits that can add value and give organizations peace of mind.
Top Security Advantages of SMART’s Cloud-Based EHR Platform
Audit Controls – Maintains audit logging for all data assets to detect inappropriate access, tracking unauthorized disclosures, measuring performance problems, detecting intrusion attempts, and for the support of investigations.
Data Integrity Controls – Includes a complete set of HIPAA policies for administrative controls. These include physical protections, staff training, and maintaining a “culture of security.”
Backup & Data Storage – Provides point-in-time recovery for cloud-based customers. In the unlikely event that a database restore is necessary, the latest backup is no older than 7 minutes with the next-oldest full database backup being from the previous night. We maintain one year of daily database backups and migrate older backups to the AWS Glacier for long-term retention. Specific data is retrievable from any of the available backup copies. (A fee applies for this service)
Automatic Logoff – Configurable auto-logoff feature in compliance with this HIPAA rule.
Security Incidents – Comprehensive procedures to detect and respond to security incidents. A HIPAA-compliant detailed breach analysis and reporting process support our systems.
As you can see, SMART’s Cloud provides significant advantages and tremendous value. Clinics gain confidence in data security and accessibility allowing them to focus on operations and patient care. Learn more about SMART’s Cloud-Based EHR Software.
Community Action Against Addiction (CAAA) chose SMART to streamline their OTP operations. This nonprofit operates OTP, residential, and outpatient services with a caring and supportive staff. “From the CEO through to the security team, this staff cared about their clients,” shared SMART’s Lead Training Specialist Cassity Asher. “Their number one focus was meeting the need of the client and how SMART would help them reach that objective.” Likewise, helping providers focus on patient care is a priority for SMART. After all, SMART was specifically designed to improve efficiencies at their own network of addiction treatment facilities. Today this mission continues with partners like CAAA.
Time-saving systems improve patient care
Charlene (L) and Lera (R), CAAA Billing department
Being totally paperless is essential to maximizing productivity. It saves time and resources by eliminating redundant data entry and storing all data electronically. This helps treatment teams organize, locate, and access patient data more efficiently.
The clinical and medical modules in SMART’s paperless EHR improve team collaboration and patient care. Real-time treatment data means no more wasted time sorting through paper charts. Everyone has real-time access to the most current patient data, which improves patient safety and reduces risk to the clinic.
Further improving patient care, SMART’s medication inventory management helps staff decrease dosing errors with “checks and balances” to ensure inventory accuracy. And SMART supports medication dispensing, patient check-in queue, dose verification, along with all DEA reporting. Customizable templates make gathering and saving important information a smooth and reliable process. Each staff member can see what information is required.
And the Insurance Billing Module simplifies billing and self-pay account management by minimizing data entry. It also includes reporting capabilities to track and manage finances. During implementation, SMART provides system training, including a thorough review of this module. CAAA’s Billing Specialist, Charlene shared that “The billing trainer was extremely knowledgeable in training the billing department.”
What the difference between having paperless health records and being 100% paperless?
The difference between being paperless and having 100% paperless health records can be game-changing. Being 100% paperless means there are ZERO physical patient charts or paper forms. You process every document in your clinic electronically. However, if your staff documents everything on paper and then scans it into the patient chart, you may be considered “paperless,” but not 100% paperless. Also important to note, scanning hand-written patient information means it’s not searchable and deriving metrics would be a tedious, manual process. The data is “invisible” to a computer if it’s hand-written. Whether you are partially paperless or are considering going paperless, it’s important to understand how to get the most out of your record keeping-system.
What issues are most common amongst clinics that aren’t fully-paperless?
Time and time again, we’ve seen EHR users taking actions (or not taking actions) that hold them back from being truly 100% paperless. The need to continuously file paper patient charts may not seem like a big deal if it’s what you’ve always done but; think about the alternative.
When a 100% paperless clinic switches to a new form, it is automatically utilized across all patient files. In a partially paperless environment, different staff members might be using different versions of the same form.
Managing quality of services can be challenging regardless of how you keep your records. However, this process can improve by doing it all electronically. For example, SMART’s EHR can be set to schedule all regulatory services as soon as the Admit and Discharge buttons are clicked. This feature enables clinical and medical staff to run their Service Due Reports. Management teams also can run quality control reports to ensure patients are receiving the right services.
Auditing paperless health records are also simplified when everything is easy to navigate and available electronically. Since everything is accessible remotely, quality control teams don’t need to travel to the clinic. Moreover, the QC reports in SMART’s EHR make it easy to located and focus on problem areas.
Data collection standards
Creating service type templates can significantly improve data collection. You can build-in the questions you would like your treatment teams to document for each service delivered. Additionally, statistical and patient population data collection is easily usable. These templates make completing grants as well as state and internal reporting much more efficient. No more sorting through and keeping Excel documents up-to-date.
What is holding you back from having 100% paperless health records?
Access and outage concerns
Often there is a fear of not being able to access electronic patient charts when the power is out, or a system is down. Fortunately, you can protect against this and run at optimal efficiency by implementing safeguards, like the ones mentioned below.
Important considerations with paperless health records:
Establish more than one internet network connection. Configure a redundant Internet connection to ensure that there is one connection to the internet at all times.
Have a back-up generator. In nearly all scenarios, your operations will cease in a power outage. For this reason, you should secure a generator for the most critical aspects of your clinic and, especially, with paperless health records operations.
Hardware inevitably fails, seemingly at the worst possible times.SMART’s Cloud-Based EHR, powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS), takes your hardware concerns off the table. SMART operates a fully-redundant AWS cloud environment which leverages layer upon layer of redundant technology. With these measures in place, the odds and impact of a connection failure are minimal.
Prepare for disasters with automatic backups. As a 100% paperless chart, SMART’s EHR software secures all data in the cloud. Backups run every 30 seconds reducing the risk of data loss. Having owned and operated clinics in the past, SMART is intimately familiar with what can happen if a clinic experiences a fire or other disaster. Being paperless, with automatic backups means we avoided losing access to crucial information.
Another deterrent to migrating 100% to paperless health records might be the expense of servers, PCs, signature pads, label printers, pumps, etc. making it is easy to put off the transition. However, the drawbacks of not being 100% paperless far outweigh the costs of transitioning. With SMART’s cloud-based solution, your EHR becomes an operational expenditure instead of a capital expenditure. Monthly billing allows you to subscribe only the number of users you need and we can adjust as your needs change.
“SMART integrates every facet of our clinic from dispensing, to counseling, to administration.”
Paul J., Administrator (former), Addiction Treatment Center of New England
Fear of change
Overcoming staff opposition to change can be a challenge. The first step is shifting your focus to educating staff about the benefits and added productivity of a paperless environment. Leadership can ease the transition by promoting positivity and cultivating user perceptions.
Even so, adjusting to a new system can still be challenging; especially for those accustomed to paper as their primary means of record-keeping. SMART helps to mitigate these fears with our implementation process which is designed to get teams up and running quickly and with confidence. Once you commit to implementing an EHR, it is essential to work with your vendor to ensure that your staff is informed throughout the process helping to avoid resistance and confusion.
Successfully implementing paperless health records
Goals and communication
Successful implementations rely heavily upon continuous and clear communications between the EHR vendor and EHR users. Before the implementation begins, set a solid foundation by providing a clear understanding of the process. Every member of both teams should fully understand all requirements and who owns what responsibilities.
Having a complete procedures checklist goes a long way toward keeping everyone on track with what tasks are due and what is upcoming. Part of the checklist procedure is to identify forms, templates, and systems settings.
“They made us feel completely confident in the system in a week. They are all exceptional.”
Heather, Clinical Director, Acadia Healthcare
Training and support
Another critical step is customizing comprehensive training before and after go-live. For our partners, training is delivered both on-site and remotely by our team of training experts. After implementation and training are complete, our Partner Support and Partner Success Teams take charge of the clinic’s ongoing care.
“I really like the new SMART System. It makes our job that much easier. The trainers were all friendly and helpful. They made our transition to SMART very easy.”
SMART’s Substance Abuse Software proudly serves New Jersey opioid treatment provider, New Brunswick Counseling Center. NBCC provides comprehensive, evidence-based, mental health, and substance abuse treatment services. Their caring staff administers outpatient services for prevention, early intervention, and treatment. For instance, through their methadone clinic, NBCC provides individualized assessments and medication-assisted treatment to qualifying individuals. And with SMART’s dosing, dispensing, and inventory modules, NBCC can simplify daily tasks and prepare for DEA audits at any time.
Implementing EHR Software
New Brunswick Counseling Center Associates
SMART works closely with addiction treatment providers to coordinate the adoption of SMART’s Substance Abuse Software. For example, when NBCC implemented SMART’s EHR Software, the first goal was to ease them through the initial transition. Their talented group of employees teamed up with SMART to vigilantly transition their operations to electronic and paperless. Each visit is a learning opportunity for both parties. One SMART Customer Service Representative said, “It’s always great to watch early hesitation over something new give way to a feeling of having made the right choice. It’s already clear that SMART Software is going to make their lives easier.” More than one of the staff noted, “Thank you for making me believe in SMART.” Learn more about SMART’s implementation process or get to know more of SMART’s EHR vendor partners.
“Narcan (naloxone) blocks or reverses the effects of opioid medication, including extreme drowsiness, slowed breathing, or loss of consciousness…(Narcan) is used to treat a narcotic overdose in an emergency situation.“¹ The availability of this life-saving drug is increasing state-by-state as communities are desperately trying to catch up with the startling number of overdose deaths. The availability of Narcan is no longer limited to hospital ERs. Because of the increase in demand, availability has extended to police, emergency response professionals, school clinics, and even to those who know someone who is addicted and at risk. However, Narcan training is needed for those seeking the ability to carry and administer this drug.
Polaris Renewal Services, Inc. completed their transition to the paperless EHR vendor, SMART Management, Inc. Located in Perryopolis, PA, this private SAMHSA-Certified clinic serves the community with counseling and recovery services. Their expert staff treats nearly 400 patients daily, with a focus on substance abuse treatment with methadone maintenance.
Nurse Manager, Nikki with SMART Trainer Amy
Polaris chose the SMART Solution for its 100% paperless operations. SMART Trainer Sandy said, “They were really happy to finally go paperless. Everyone was excited to find out how much time they would actually save.” More than just paperless, SMART’s complete clinic management system increases efficiencies through automation. It automates required services, patient check-in, medication dispensing, and nursing notifications. Furthermore, as a cloud-based tool, this EHR provides access to patient treatment data with ease and security. Medical, clinical, and insurance records carefully designed and encrypted for HIPAA compliance, secure patient information.
Polaris team during SMART’s EHR Implementation
Program Director, Valerie commented after their implementation, “The trainers were amazing! They exceeded our expectations. The trainers were professional, extremely knowledgeable, and patient. They addressed every question that we had and explained the training material thoroughly. They made this process such an enjoyable experience and alleviated all concerns of the staff. We can’t say enough good things about the training team.”
An EHR Vendor for OTPs
Some EHR vendors can handle the unique workflow of OTPs, but few are built specifically for that purpose. SMART’s EHR streamlines operations in opioid treatment programs with modules designed for opioid treatment workflows.
Twenty-five years ago, President and CEO David Piccoli, II designed The SMART Solution to improve operational efficiency and increase ROI at his family-owned network of substance use treatment facilities. This EHR continues to evolve as a result of SMART’s extensive clinical experience and tremendous breadth of industry expertise. It is this history and experience in delivering opioid treatment services while utilizing their time-tested solution that makes this customizable EHR such a great choice. Learn moreor get to know more of SMART’s EHR partners.
Tadiso Incorporated is expanding its opioid treatment program with a $1.5 million renovation. This change is in response to the growing amount of patients they treat. As the single largest medication-assisted treatment facility in Pennsylvania, Tadiso now serves over 1,000 individuals in the Pittsburg area.
The renovation will include six dispensing stations for patient dosing. Also, to lessen patient wait times, they are creating a new state-of-the-art lobby with several kiosks, intake stations, private offices, and bathrooms for drug screen collection. Another great feature is a comfortable waiting area, which includes a complimentary coffee bar for patients.
Opioid Treatment Program Becomes Center of Excellence
Becoming a Center of Excellencein 2016 is also a contributing factor in their ongoing growth.They achieved this status by ensuring their patients stay in treatment, receive follow-up care, and have community support. Furthermore, they provide treatment that integrates behavioral and primary care using a team-based and “whole person” focus. This includes their wellness program and mentor recovery support program. Patients in the Recovery Support Program are also apart of “Ring for Recovery.” This program gives patients a mobile phone to ensure contact is regularly maintained with their mentor.
SMART proudly serves SSTAR, since 2010, witha specialized EHR for addiction treatment. This Massachusetts-based non-profit health care agency provides life-saving services to individuals affected by addiction. Beyond treatment, they are also passionate about prevention services. For the past several years, SSTAR has tried to create the space to accommodatethe delivery of those services. Unfortunately, the city rejected its previous two building permits. If the city approves permitting is in the future, this would allow them to provide prevention services and other educational efforts. The growing demand for these services at their other locations spurred this undertaking.Learn more about SSTAR
Narcan Helps, But Only So Much
The overdose-reversing drug Narcan is saving lives every day. Firefighters in Taunton have been trained to administer Narcan. Unfortunately, “Some of the fatal deaths in town have been people that were revived with Narcan before, successfully, and then they ended up OD’ing,” according to Tim Bradshaw, chief of the Taunton Fire Department. This is the very nature of addiction.
This is why many approaches are so critical. Strategies like SSTAR’s increasing prevention, treatment, and recovery services makes help available to people no matter where they are in their journey towards recovery. Prevention and recovery with companies like SSTAR make support available to people no matter where they are in their recovery.
Technology in Addiction Treatment
Since 1991, SMART’s EHR for addiction treatment helps trusted providers like SSTAR streamline care delivery. From admissions, medication dosing, clinical services to patient discharge, this cloud-based software simplifies daily tasks with advanced automation.
The SMART Solution is powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS), a trusted and secure HIPAA compliant cloud hosting platform. AWS helps covered entities subject to HIPAA regulations process securely maintain, and store protected health information. Moreover, this hosting platform is scalable to the growing needs of treatment programs.
The SMARTBridge™ is an electronic health records processing module available in SMART’s cloud-based EHR for opioid addiction treatment. This module provides a secure and automatic transmission of medical records, lab results, and financial data. Managers can track activities through a dedicated portal directly accessible from SMART.
Benefits of EHR data processing with SMARTBridge™
Electronic health records processing with SMARTBridge helps ensure the safety of private patent information. It collects and posts information directly to electronic charts. This tool eliminates the need to enter results manually, saving your time and money.
This module processes inbound Health Level 7 (HL7) messages from other software applications instantly upon receipt. It also generates outbound HL-7 messages to exchange data securely with other applications. The SMARTBridge is HIPAA compliant and only accessible directly by SMART’s IT team.
Scales to your needs
When opening a new clinic, or a network of clinics, scalability of your current technology should be a primary concern. With the SMARTBridge size and performance of your database can be adjusted with no downtime. This feature keeps all your clinics running at peak performance and financial efficiency.
Makes billing more predictable
The SMARTBridge allows you to process your billing per transaction or as fixed monthly amounts. Consistent, repeating revenue improves predictability, helping to further simplifying your processes.
The SMART Solution is a 100% paperless electronic health records (EHR) software. This digital health record specializes in opioid addiction treatment programs providing methadone and buprenorphine maintenance. Substance abuse treatment programs choose SMART to improve clinic management and workflow automation. Contact us to learn about streamlining admissions, billing, inventory management, and more.
SMART Management, Inc.
66 Pavilion Avenue 2nd Fl
Providence, RI 02905