Paperless Health Records vs. 100% Paperless Health Records

Paperless-Health-Records-vs.-100%-Paperless-Health-RecordsThe difference between having paperless health records and being 100% paperless 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. Whether you are partially paperless or are considering going paperless, it’s important to understand how to get the most out of your paperless operations.

What is holding you back from having 100% paperless health records? 

Paperless-Health-Records_Prepare for-disasters with-automatic-backupsAccess and outage concerns  

Often there is a fear of not being able to access patient charts when the power is out, or a system is down. Additional safeguards need to support your EHR (electronic health record). For clinics to run at optimal efficiency, even during emergencies, you should have protective measures in place. These changes could increase your operational expenditures, but they also reduce the possibility of an outage.  

Important considerations with paperless health records:  

Establish more than one internet network connection. In many cases you can virtually bond these connections together. If one were to go down the other(s) would still be available to keep you connected. 

Have a back-up generator. In nearly all scenarios, your operations will cease without power. For this reason, you should secure a generator for the most critical aspects of your paperless health records operations. 

Hardware inevitably fails, often at the worst possible times. SMART’s cloud solution takes your hardware concerns off the table. SMART operates a fully-redundant Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud environment which leverages layer upon layer of redundant technology. Failures are drastically reduced when the above measures are taken.

Prepare for disasters with automatic backups. As a 100% paperless chart, SMART’s cloud-based software holds all data. The backup is run every 30 seconds, therefore 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. Had we not been paperless, electronic, and automatically backed-up we could have lost access to crucial information.

Risks cannot be eliminated but they can be managed. Be proactive and understand what measures can help to prevent adverse consequences. By doing so, your organization will greatly mitigate risk of data failure in emergency situations. Even potential risks can be identified before an emergency happens by analyzing and understanding the dangers associated. As a result, you ensure accessibility to your EHR/paperless chart.

Equipment investment 

Another deterrent to migrating 100% to paperless health records might be the investment in equipment. Equipment_Paperless-Health-Records With the expense of servers, PCs, signature pads, label printers, and pumps, it is easy to look the other way and avoid going 100% paperless. Unfortunately, the cons far outweigh the pros.

Additionally, States continue to demand better interfaces. However, this actually helps EHR users as they gain interoperability.

With SMART’s cloud-based solution, your EHR becomes an operational expenditure instead of a capital expenditure. Monthly billing for named users allows you to subscribe the number of users you need. Need more users? We can add them at any time. Too many? We can also remove them. 

“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 

Sometimes what holds clinics back from moving 100% to paperless health records is the fear of change. Adjusting to a new system can be challenging. Especially for those accustomed to paper as their primary means of recorkeeping. 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 important 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  

comprehensive-procedures-checklist_Paperless-Health-RecordsGoals and communication 

Successful implementations rely heavily upon continuous and clear communications between the EHR vendor and EHR users. Before the implementation begins, a solid foundation should be set by providing a clear understanding of the process that should be expected. Every member of both teams should fully understand all requirements and who owns which responsibilities. 

Next, having a comprehensive 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. And are wonderful, fun people too.”

– Heather, Clinical Director,
Acadia Healthcare 

Training and support 

Another important step is customizing comprehensive training before and after go-live. For our partners, these trainings are delivered both on-site and remotely by our team of training experts. Finally, after the implementation and training is complete, our Partner Support and Partner Services 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.”  

– Charity G., Nurse,
Pinnacle Treatment Centers


Advantages of having 100% paperless health records 


Overcoming staff opposition to going totally paperless can be a challenge. Shift your focus to educating about the benefits. You will find that in the end, that your staff is happier and more productive in a paperless environment. By promoting positivity, leadership can cultivate user’s perceptions. 

Top 10 benefits to clinics 

  1. Reduces redundancy of data entry. Everything is in the system and is only a few clicks away 
  2. Saves physical space and office supply costs without the need for a chart room 
  3. No more time wasted filing and searching for paper charts 
  4. Enables faster receipt of lab test results 
  5. Simplifies quality control with information that is organized and easy to find 
  6. Co-signatures on treatment plans, service delivery notes, medical orders, and forms can be submitted remotely reducing unnecessary travel time 
  7. Auto alerts and reminders help to ensure patients treatment needs are met on time 
  8. Optimizes admissions capacity with auto scheduling and pre-admissions screening 
  9. Maximizes revenue and decreases data entry with integrated insurance billing module 
  10. Better tools and technology improve communication, staff retention, and employee satisfaction. Insufficient technology can be a reason for employee burn out.   

“SMART provides real-time information that allows staff to feel confident in their clinical decisions.”

– Eileen, Director,
Boston Public Health

Top 10 benefits to enterprise organizations 

  1. Stores all your clinics’ information safely in one place Paperless-Health-Record-save-money
  2. Saves operational costs by decreasing the need for equipment upgrades, IT resources, and EHR updates 
  3. Creates uniformity and consistency across all OTP locations
  4. Establishes your corporate model of forms, services, and reporting 
  5. Reduces administrative costs by automating processing and reporting
  6. Simplifies insurance, self-pay account management, and reporting functions with data-entry-free billing 
  7. Scales to your needs allowing you to adjust size and performance with no downtime 
  8. Automatically and seamlessly makes updates and improvements to the system 
  9. Leverages the latest technologies (like the SMARTBridge™) 
  10. Integrates with billing systems and state reporting so there is no double entry of data 

What issues are most common amongst clinics that aren’t fully-paperless? 

Time and time again, we’ve seen EHR (electronic health records) 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: 

Paperless-health-records-save-timeOrganizational efficiency 

Organizationally, partially paperless clinics could be even more efficient. Filling out, organizing, filing, then later going back to dig through patient records eats up a ton of time that could be spent on patient care. 

Moreover, communication efficiency can also be improved when everyone at the clinic has access to the same patient information at the same time. If there is a development with a patient, which is not noted immediately and electronically, there could be important treatment-related information missed by another clinician. 

Quality control 

Auditing Paperless Health RecordsWhen a 100% paperless clinic needs to switch to a new form, once implemented, the new form is automatically used across all patient files. In a partially paperless environment, you may find yourself having to chase down employees who are still using old forms. 

Managing services can be challenging regardless of how you keep your records. However, this process can be vastly improved 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 own Service Due Reports. Management teams have the ability to run quality control reports to ensure patients are receiving the right services. 

Auditing paperless health records is also simplified when everything is easy to navigate and accessible electronically. Since everything is remotely accessible, quality control teams do not have to travel to the clinic.  Moreover, the QC reports in SMART’s EHR make it easy to focus on problem areas. 

Data collection standards 

Creating service type templates can greatly 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 accessible. This makes completing grants as well as state and internal reporting much more efficient. No more sorting through and keeping Excel documents up-to-date. 

What are some benefits of 100% paperless health records that clinics often overlook? 

Once you are running with paperless health records, ensure that you are using all of the features available. This will help you be even more efficient. 

Create templates wherever possible: 

  • Service type templates save your teams from writing repetitive notes. And they will see the exact data they need to gather. 
  • Release of information templates allows your team to choose a pre-populated agency release template. This saves time on data entry and disclosure tracking. 
  • Agency referral lists via SMART’s QSOA feature allows your team to quickly find appropriate referral sources and to track the expiring agreements. 

Leverage your EHR’s secure cloud environment to build your key business rules for: 

Integrate your billing processes 

Outsourcing a treatment program’s insurance billing to a third-party traditionally costs more than processing it in-house. SMART’s paperless billing module gives users the ability to successfully manage the revenue cycle in-house. 

Experience matters 

SMART’s 100% paperless health records software has more than 25 years of experience serving opioid treatment programs. SMART has the unique ability to relate to the day-to-day challenges of medication-assisted treatment professionals because we’ve worked there too. President and CEO David L. Piccoli, II, was inspired to help his family’s network of opioid treatment facilities go paperless in the early 90’s. Since then, SMART’s EHR continues to grow with all our partners as they expand and transition more locations to have 100% paperless health records. 

Want to learn more about SMART’s EHR? Watch the video tour!


New electronic health record system, ACADIA Wisconsin 


Madison staff with SMART Trainer

SMART’s electronic health record system is now operating at Acadia’s four CARF Accredited treatment centers in Wisconsin.  These clinics are a part of their larger network that provides medically assisted treatment to individuals suffering from addiction.  This includes treatment with Methadone, Buprenorphine, Suboxone, and Vivitrol. Their expert staff supports medically assisted treatment with well-rounded therapy sessions.

Electronic Health Record System for Organizational Uniformity

Acadia chose SMART’s electronic health record system to support paperless operations, insurance billing, and to create uniformity across their network. For enterprise organizations uniformity is crucial. With SMART’s cloud-based EHR storage of all clinic’s information is in one place. By doing this, establishment of corporate model and forms, services, and reporting is made easy. And, insurance, self-pay account management, and reporting functions are simplified with data-entry-free billing.


10th Street Team with Trainer Sandy

Simplifying Transitioning – New Electronic Health Record System

Moving to a new EHR can be challenging. Many of our Training Team members have experience working within clinics. They understand the challenges faced every day. Because of this, they are passionate about making transitioning as hassle-free as possible. Acadia Clinical Supervisor, Quillan, shared that, “The Trainers were very personable, professional, and knowledgeable. We enjoyed working with them, their experience and mastery of the system was evident and their ability to present the information in meaningful and understandable terms was remarkable. We especially appreciate their patience and willingness to work with us individually and walk us thru the steps, in some cases repeatedly, until we were comfortable, and their use of humor as a teaching tool and patience made learning a new system much easier. They were very approachable and were able to answer every question asked of them. Amazing team…”

Learn more about SMART’s EHR for opioid treatment or view the full Wisconsin implementation album.

New EHR Platform AATOD 2018

New EHR Platform AATOD 2018


SMART is showcasing our new EHR platform at the AATOD Conference, March 10-14th in New York City.  Since 1991, our EHR has evolved from an on-premise to a cloud-based software solution. Now, Amazon Web Services (AWS) hosts SMART’s cloud-based EHR. Hundreds of thousands of business, in 190 countries, trust AWS for their hosting needs. This technology helps us deliver our Partners the most powerful EHR solution yet.

Benefits: SMART’s New EHR Platform

New EHR Platform AATOD 2018Our EHR Partners enjoy the enhanced information security in AWS. This includes real-time redundant data backups, network isolation, and data encryption. Another benefit is scalability. This is especially important for large enterprise organizations. The size and performance of their data network adjusts, as they expand, with no downtime. Partners using SMART’s cloud-based EHR also save on operational costs. Such as, equipment upgrades, software updates, and IT resources. And, SMART EHR Partners enjoy the improved efficiency. On AWS, our EHR increases speed and performance and automates key processes.

Make A Date! See Our NEW Real-Time Calendar

SMARTs-Real-time-CalendarThe SMART Team will also showcase the new SMART Calendar. This is a real-time scheduling tool for staff and patient interactions. You can locate available dates and times for many staff members at the same time.  Also, EHR users can set events to repeat using a variety of options. And, patients receive notifications for upcoming events via text message or email. Additionally, enterprise organizations enjoy being able to easily manage events by program location.

Stop by AATOD booth #313, register to win this year’s gift-give-away, and take a tour of this real-time scheduling solution

More on AATOD 2018

AATOD 2018Every eighteen months the AATOD brings together national and international opioid treatment professionals. The conference focus this year is on Advancing & Integrating Specialized Addiction Treatment & Recovery. Presenters and attendees explore the latest in evidence-based treatments, techniques, and collaborative strategies. Learn more

Secures information

Automatic Data Processing Increases Security

The SMARTBridge™ is an automatic data processing module available to cloud-based SMART EHR users. It provides secure and automatic transmission of medical records, lab results, and financial data. It also allows managers to track activities through a dedicated portal directly accessible from SMART.

Benefits of Automatic Data Processing with SMARTBridge™

SMARTBridge enables automatic data processing_Secures information
Secures information

The SMARTBridge helps ensure safety of private patent information. It collects and posts information directly to electronic charts. This eliminates the need to manually enter results, saving your time and money.

The module automatically 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

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 keeps all your clinics running at peak performance and financial efficiency.

Makes billing more predictable

Makes billing more convenientThe 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.


New Appointment Scheduling Software for OTPs

NEW Appointment Scheduling Software for OTPs

New Appointment Scheduling Software for OTPsSMART’s New Calendar is a powerful appointment scheduling software module for staff and patient interactions in opioid treatment programs.  It is available in SMART’s cloud EHR and gives you the ability to easily manage staff, patients, resources, and time.

Many addiction treatment networks organize their programs by location. The new calendar in SMART gives you the ability to manage events by the program. Clinicians can use SMART’s Calendar to schedule group meetings. Administrative staff can schedule pre-admission appointments for patients. And your whole team can use it to schedule internal meetings and see who’s available at a certain time. Schedule a demo today!

Intuitive Appointment Scheduling Software Design

SMART’s VP of Product and Technology Paul Lebeau describes this new calendar module as “intuitive” and “familiar”. “With SMART’s new Calendar, we aim to provide an intuitive, easy-to-use software feature in a familiar, web-based interface while maintaining 100% integration with existing data and other features of the SMART Solution.”

Quote about appointment scheduling software from SMART's VPSMART’s Calendar allows you to set events to repeat using a variety of options. The options available are intuitive for those already familiar with other popular online calendars. For example, a meeting might occur more than once per week or every other week. Some events might occur on the 10th of every month or on the third Thursday. SMART’s Calendar allows you to match whatever scheduling needs you have.

This appointment scheduling software module helps you choose event times that do not conflict with staff schedules.  You can tell who is available for an appointment in real-time.  For example, it prevents you from scheduling a staff member for a meeting when they are not scheduled to work during that time. Likewise, it prevents the user from scheduling an event that will conflict with another event.

Moreover, in a busy clinic setting, it can be difficult to schedule meetings that include multiple staff members. Now, you can automatically locate available dates and times for multiple staff members with one click.  Rather than searching multiple individual’s schedules to find an open time in common, the Calendar automatically finds a time that works for all participants.

    Automate Patient Text Reminders & Schedule Resources

    Another exciting feature is auto email or text message patient appointment reminders. This way, patients don’t need to set a reminder on their phone (or anywhere else). And, if it is an intake appointment, they definitely don’t want to miss it!  This removes both the burden of remembering and the potential for them to forget to set the reminder.

    Finally, you can schedule resources such as audio/visual tools, group therapy supplies, and meeting spaces. This helps operations flow as smoothly as possible ensuring that your resources aren’t accidentally overbooked. Request more information

    New-Electronic-Health-Record-Washington _Tacoma-going-paperless

    New Electronic Health Record Acadia Washington 

    New-Electronic-Health-Record-Washington _Tacoma-going-paperless

    Going paperless in Tacoma

    SMART’s electronic health record is operating at Acadia Healthcare’s four Washington State locations.  These CARF accredited locations provide outpatient addiction treatment with caring individual and group therapy sessions. Patients also receive recovery support with methadone and Suboxone maintenance.

    Acadia chose SMART’s electronic health record for its 100% paperless functionality. This EHR solution is a reliable, secure, and flexible cloud-based paperless software. It improves ease and speed of access to patient records, allowing for increased collaboration amongst treatment team members. Additionally, the billing module helps OTPs maximize revenue by processing insurance billing in-house.  It also enables authorization management, self-pay billing and account management, unit-based fee for service, payment due notifications, and reporting to both cash- and accrual-based accounting.

      Simplifying Electronic Health Record Implementations


      Team during training session

      Following the Spokane, WA implementation, Office Manager Tami said, This was a fantastic training team, great software, and overall very positive experience.”  This is precisely the reaction SMART’s Team strives for in every implementation of the SMART Solution. Being in business for over 25 years and having operated a network of treatment facilities, SMART knows the challenges that can be faced during implementations. That is why SMART has established a thorough and continuously vetted process to ensure that clinics get up and running quickly and efficiently.


      SMART Trainer Sandy with partner at Acadia Tacoma

      Understanding OTPs. Support Matters!

      Truly understanding the unique operational needs of opioid treatment programs, from one state to the next, requires dedication. This dedication ensures that SMART stays current with Partner’s requirements. Ultimately, their needs drive development and inspire continuous improvement.

      SMART upholds this everchanging understanding by providing:

      • Personalized live and on-call support
      • Dedicated account managers to identify solutions
      • Business domain experts who understand clinical operations

        Learn more about the SMART Solution.

        SMART-Strategy-Summit-Best EHR Software-Partner-Meeting

        Striving to be the best EHR Software for OTPs

        SMART-Strategy-Summit-Best EHR Software-Partner-Meeting

        SMART Associates and Partners during Strategy Summit

        SMART Management, Inc. considers our partners an essential element of being the best EHR Software for opioid treatment programs. Because of this, in late-September, SMART hosted the 2017 SMART Strategy Summit. The Summit brought together leadership teams from SMART Partners all over the U.S. to collaborate on the evolution of the SMART Solution.

        Historically, SMART’s EHR software has been an on-premise solution. Today, it is is a 100% paperless cloud-based tool that does so much more than just patient record keeping. Small clinics and large enterprise organizations rely on the SMART Solution to help streamline operations and provide best in class patient care.

        What exactly is SMART doing to be the best EHR software for OTPs?


        Partner discussing needs with SMART’s IT Director, Mason Snyder

        Listening. We take what we learn from our Partners and work with our Development Teams to integrate their feedback into our electronic health record. The result is a continuously improving technology that grows with the treatment facilities we serve. Following our SMART Strategy Summit in 2013, we set in motion a variety of Partner requests. The request for increased EHR speed is one example.

        SMART’s New Cloud product addresses the requests to increase EHR speed. Several of this year’s Summit attendees have migrated to the cloud while many others have not. Partners who have migrated thoughtfully shared their experiences with everyone in an open forum. Then SMART’s IT Director, Mason Snyder, followed with a deeper dive into the new SMART infrastructure, discussing largely the power and benefits of integrating Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Aurora. Companies such as Philips, Netflix, Instagram, and Dropbox, trust these integrated services to increase speed, lower costs and improve scalability.

        SMART’s shift to AWS will afford partners several advantages, most notably:

        • A highly scalable fully managed database service
        • Six real-time redundant backups
        • Immediate access to the latest SMART features
        • Reduction in equipment cost and maintenance responsibility
        • Improved reliability, security, and performance with up to 99.99995% up-time

        More “Agile” than ever


        New cloud calendar sneak peek at SMART Strategy Summit 2017

        Another Partner request is for more predictable development timeframes. SMART is focusing on a new method of software development to be more predictable than ever. From here, we can provide more accurate estimates and plan our development to meet the strategic planning goals.

        Saying that we listen and incorporate Partner feedback is nice, but how exactly does that work? In one word; Agile. SMART has adopted an Agile development methodology. This is a proven method used by companies like Adobe and GE. It allows our teams to be nimble and respond to the continuously changing needs of our Partners. Moreover, Agile is about working smarter and generating more value. Because of this, SMART Partners benefit from an EHR that has greater flexibility and is delivered in more predictable fashion.

        Interested in learning more? Contact us today


        Meaningful Use Is Not Ending. It’s Evolving…


        Paul LeBeau, SMART’s VP of Product & Technology

        You’ve probably heard that Meaningful Use will be ending in 2016. Meaningful use is not ending and the use of a Certified Health Record will still be required.   Most of the takeaways from the blog posts and news articles don’t tell the whole story. The following should help to give everyone a clear picture of what’s really happening and how it affects your organization.

        Andy Slavitt, the Director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) stated at a January 11th healthcare conference that, “Meaningful Use, as we know it, will be over in 2016.”   “As we know it,” was left out of the headlines and sound bytes.   Those four words indicate that it’s not going away, but rather evolving into something different.

        Until now, providers have been eligible for incentive dollars for purchasing and using a certified electronic health record. Beginning in 2017, it’s expected that Meaningful Use will be based upon the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Simply stated, providers will be incentivized with reimbursement based on outcomes. The new system is going to require use of a certified health record. In fact, the last stage of requirements for certification, ONC 2015, is being finalized now and will be valid through calendar year 2019.

        For more information:


        ASAP 16th Annual Conference

        ASAP_LogoAre you an addiction treatment professional in New York State? Join us at the ASAP 16th Annual Conference (Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers of New York State Association) at the Saratoga Hilton and City Center, Saratoga Springs, NY.

        ASAP is an excellent resource for organizations, groups and individuals that prevent and alleviate the profound personal, social and economic consequences of alcoholism and substance abuse. SMART proudly serves several prominent New York customers including Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Acacia, Greenwich House and Staten Island University Hospital. Working closely as partners, SMART has refined our EHR Software to meet the unique needs of each multi-modality New York Treatment Organization.

        SMART Software is a leader in the state of New York, providing a Certified Paperless Electronic Health Record and Clinic Management Software to organizations providing Behavioral Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Treatment Services. Our customized New York Software model allows your team to be efficient when processing and implementing NY billing and clinical documentation requirements.

        utah fall substance abuse conference

        Join us! Utah Fall Substance Abuse Conference 2015

        Utah Fall Substance Abuse Conference BoothOur team is looking forward to meeting you at the 2015 Utah Fall Substance Abuse Conference on September 23rd-25th at the Dixie Convention Center in St. George, Utah.

        SMART Software is a leader in supplying Certified Paperless Electronic Health Record and Clinic Management Software to organizations providing Behavioral Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Treatment Services. Our state-by-state customized software model allows your team to be efficient when processing and implementing billing and clinical documentation requirements.

        Stop by our booth, take a tour of SMART and see why many leading treatment providers have chosen our software for all of their EHR needs.

        SMART has proudly served Utah customer Discovery House – The Center for Recovery and Hope for more than 18 years. Working closely as partners, SMART has refined our EHR Software to meet the needs of this unique multi-modality Utah Treatment Organization. Our customized Utah State model allows your team to be efficient when processing and implementing billing and clinical documentation requirements

        About Utah Fall Substance Use Conference

        utahsubstance abuse conference The Utah Fall Substance Abuse Conference continues to be the premier educational and networking event in the Mountain West. Network with your colleagues, as you learn from preeminent national and local leaders in the Substance Abuse field. Learn more….