When starting a mental health private practice, it is difficult to know how to choose the best tools and mental health software systems. Well, look no further. We’ve created a checklist of 6 tools that will provide the perfect support to get your mental health private practice off the ground.
Consider how you will keep track of your practice billings, expenses and other purchases required for your business. Whether this is using Quickbooks, Freshbooks, your EMR billing features, or another reputable program, keeping accurate billing, payment, and expense records is vital to long-term success. Business expenses pile up quickly, especially when getting started, so keeping organized and accurate books as you go can help to mitigate stress down the road.
Once your practice grows, you may want to bring on a bookkeeper to your staff roster.
As straightforward as scheduling might sound, it is important to find a system that allows you to be as effective and efficient as possible. Scheduling appointments by hand and telephone isn’t very efficient once your business starts to take off, and it can increase the risk of patient’s forgetting their appointments. Mental health scheduling software or your EMR’s built-in calendar and reminder system can help to avoid this by sending reminders at the time of booking as well as leading up to the scheduled appointment. And using an EMR that also has a portal for your patients/clients can make scheduling (and re-scheduling) appointments way more efficient.
Using scheduling tools also reduces the chances of accidentally double-booking appointments due to human error.
Electronic Medical Records (EMR)
While there are many new business responsibilities to keep straight, the majority of your daily routine will likely focus on providing, recording and tracking patient and client care information. Save time and energy by using smart software that will do a lot of this work for you. EMR / EHR client tracking software can help you by already having all of your patients’ charts for the day pulled up and ready to go. An EMR also allows for quick and easy access to the notes from the previous session, and often work seamlessly with appointment, billing and even e-prescribing records. Furthermore, an EMR designed specifically for mental health providers will cater to the unique needs of those types of providers and practices.
The last thing you want is an inconsistent payment collection process, nor one that disrupts the critical relationships you build with your patients/clients and the care you’re providing them. Make this easy on your practice by integrating PCI (the “HIPAA of the financial world”) compliant payment processing for credit cards. This way you can avoid the awkward card swiping or check writing at the end of every session by having the patient’s card information saved within the system, or better yet, having them pay via an online portal from home or their phone after a session
A system such as this gives your private practice a professional standard, and often increases the likelihood of on-time payments. Remember that invoicing via email is not considered to be HIPAA compliant.
Website & Hosting
A large majority of your new clients and colleagues will first discover your private practice online, which often ends at your website. And first impressions have a big impact. You will want to have your own registered domain name and professional-grade website and hosting. Blue Host linked with WordPress is a tried and true combination used by successful businesses across the country. Other quality options include Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly – each offering ease-of-use via slightly different user interfaces.
Having an efficient method for screening your patients before booking an appointment and, at the beginning of your first meeting and throughout care can be an incredibly valuable tool. To save time, you may choose to send certain forms to your patients to fill out ahead of time. This can be managed digitally through an EMR system and portal, allowing patients to fill them out at home, and then add them to their chart with just a click. And, many forms can be customized to fit your unique practice’s needs – administrative, intake questionnaires, or ongoing assessment.
By using an EMR system, all records remain HIPAA-compliant and accessible at your fingertips.
By implementing these six tools as they fit your new private practice, you will be well on your way to more success and less frustration. Explore each tool to help facilitate growth and save yourself time and energy.
If you are in search of an EMR system for your new practice, look into what Luminello has to offer. With Luminello, you will have useful tools such as client notes tracking, payment processing and customizable forms to make your business run smoothly.