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Benefits-of-Electronic-health-records

Top 10 Benefits of Electronic Health Records | Going Paperless

Having electronic health records means that you can document all your clinic’s tasks digitally and in real-time without the need for paper charts. Beyond being paperless, there are many other advantages of EHRs to consider. Below we discuss specifically how individual clinics and enterprise organizations benefit from SMART’s Cloud-Based EHR – powered by AWS.

Benefits to individual clinics

Clinics improve staff collaboration and patient care with easily accessible information and reports automation.

Individual 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. Expedites and automates receipt of lab test results.
  5. Organizes information making it easy to find simplifying quality control.
  6. Submits co-signatures on treatment plans, service delivery notes, medical orders, and forms remotely which reduces unnecessary travel time.
  7. Auto alerts and reminders help to ensure that you meet patient’s treatment needs on time.
  8. Optimizes admissions capacity with auto-scheduling and pre-admissions screening.
  9. Maximizes revenue and decreases data entry with an integrated insurance billing module.
  10. Better tools and technology improve communication, staff retention, and employee satisfaction.

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

Eileen, Director, Boston Public Health

Benefits to enterprise organizations

Managing a network of treatment programs can be challenging but with SMART’s cloud-based EHR software, you can create consistency across all locations while scaling to your growing needs.

Enterprise organizations
  1. Stores all your clinical information safely in one place.
  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 SMARTBridge™).
  10. Integrates with billing systems and state reporting eliminating the double entry of data.

Here are some advantages that clinics often overlook

Once you are operational with paperless health records, ensure that you are using all 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 allows them to see the exact data they need.
  • Release-of-information templates allow your team to choose a pre-populated template saving time on data entry and disclosure tracking.
  • Agency referral lists (via SMART’s QSOA feature) allow your team to quickly find referral sources and track expiring agreements.

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

Integrate your billing processes

Outsourcing insurance billing to a third-party often 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.

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Paper charts vs. 100% Paperless Health Records

What’s the Difference?

The difference between paper charts 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 also 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.

Organizational efficiency

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.

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In a 100% paperless environment, everyone at the clinic has access to the same up-to-the-minute 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

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.

Auditing Paperless Health Records

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 also 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 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 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 usable. 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 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, to reduce the possibility of an outage.

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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.

Equipment investment

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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 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  

Goals 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 what responsibilities. 

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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.”

Heather, Clinical Director, Acadia Healthcare

Training and support

Another important 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 is 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.”  

Charity G., Nurse, Pinnacle Treatment Centers

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Cloud Based EHR | 8 Great Security Benefits

Data Security 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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”.
  3. Malware Protection – Employs multiple layers of protection throughout our on-premises systems and AWS cloud presence.
  4. Encryption – Encrypts all protected health information (PHI) to the NIST AES-256 standard or better. This occurs at-rest as well as in motion within SMART’s AWS Cloud presence.
  5. 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)
  6. Automatic Logoff – Configurable auto-logoff feature in compliance with this HIPAA rule.
  7. Security Incidents – Comprehensive procedures to detect and respond to security incidents. A HIPAA-compliant detailed breach analysis and reporting process supports our procedures.
  8. Contingency Operations – Adheres policies and procedures for responding to emergencies and disasters. This process focuses on helping you to regain access to your software and data quickly.

    As you can see, SMART’s Cloud provides significant advantages and tremendous value. Our partners enjoy confidence in data security and accessibility allowing them to focus on operations and patient care.

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    New electronic health record system, ACADIA Wisconsin 

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    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.

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    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

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    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.

    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™

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    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.

     

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    New Electronic Health Record Acadia Washington 

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    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

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      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.

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      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.

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        Striving to be the best EHR Software for OTPs

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        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?

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        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

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        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

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        Meaningful Use Is Not Ending. It’s Evolving…

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        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.

         

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        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.