The Real Story. Benefits of Electronic Health Records

David Works to Purge Paperwork

SMART’s President/CEO David L. Piccoli, II

If you’re an opioid treatment professional you know the benefits of electronic health records. But, you may also know how frustrating an EHR can be if it’s not designed to handle your unique workflows.

In 1991 David Piccoli, II began working as an Administrative Assistant at Discovery House. After six months on the job, he was inspired to increase the clinic’s efficiencies. He thought there must be a better way to manage the facility’s endless flow of patient records, billing, and paperwork. “I just saw it to be very chaotic,” Piccoli recalled. “Nobody had access to information quickly.” But Piccoli wasn’t satisfied with any of the electronic-records products then on the market.  The majority of EHR’s focused on just one piece of the business, such as third-party billing or clinic records. “No one ever really combined everything together,” he recalled.

So, Piccoli decided to create the EHR he wanted. He partnered with a computer programmer who was also an old family friend, Paul LeBeau. Together, they built a new clinic management software application for Discovery House. The idea was to digitize and automate a facility’s paperwork, from patient dosing and drug testing to scheduling and third-party billing. It worked so well that they formed SMART Management, Inc. to offer the program to other clinics. This EHR, The SMART Solution, was an integral part of making Discovery House such a successful organization.

SMART-EHR-at-AATOD-2016

SMART at AATOD 2016

Twenty-five years later, SMART has grown into one of the most highly regarded EHR solutions for OTP’s. It is a 100% paperless EHR that provides robust automation to manage an entire clinic’s operations. The SMART Solution is specialized for organizations offering opioid treatment programs in substance abuse services, however, integrates behavioral health services as well. The company serves addiction treatment partners in 24 states/territories. “We’re what you’d call a one-stop shop,” said Piccoli. “It’s everything. From the moment a patient calls the facility, we track all the information.” Once a clinic decides to purchase the SMART’s EHR, an implementation expert visits the facility to ascertain its requirements. The program is written so that its settings can be tweaked to match various kinds of operations.

The company is also at the forefront of an industry that is set to grow in the next decade. As the nation continues to deal with the rising cost of health care, electronic medical records are often cited as a way of bringing down expenses while reducing errors and improving care. Not surprisingly, Piccoli is a firm believer in the benefits of tracking patient information electronically. “I don’t understand how anybody can operate without it,” he said.

Other Benefits of Electronic Health Records

EHR Implementation and Training at ASSMCA

EHR implementation and training at ASSMCA in 2016

Part of what makes this EHR effective, Piccoli said, is that it allows counselors to input patient information directly and those with authorization can also easily access a patient’s complete history at the facility. “One of my big pushes when we developed this, early on, was not to make it a data-entry product – to truly make it a product people would use,” he said. The sensitivity of the information also makes safeguarding privacy a key concern for the company’s programmers. After they log into the system, clinic employees are shown a different window based on their access privileges – so a receptionist sees only the scheduling calendar, while a doctor or a counselor can access full patient records.

Additional benefits include patient-centered design, 100% paperless operations, instant and secure data, live and on-call support, and free updates. Modules in The SMART Solution help to increase admissions, streamline dosing, reduce risk, promote team collaboration, accelerate test results, and maximize revenue. Learn more