Philosophy and Guiding Values
It took more than 5 years to develop PSYBooks. Why? Because we kept thinking of ways to make it BETTER. While that may not speak to good economic sense, it does serve to illustrate our primary guiding principle:
We want to deliver the best practice management system for the mental health professional that we possibly can.
This means that we are devoted to:
- user-friendliness. We want PSYBooks to be so easy to use that it practically runs itself. (And it almost does.)
- security. In the mental health profession, our clients count on us. PSYBooks takes this trust very seriously. We’ve done a lot of research to help ensure that your clients’ data will be both transmitted and stored with optimal security.
- features. PSYBooks is loaded with features and our “feature to-do list” gets longer every day. Have an idea? Let us know!
- customer service. We want you to be treated well and to get the help you need – the same way we would want to be treated. PSYBooks comes with an extensive Manual and a series of videos to give you in-depth explanations on every aspect of the program. Should you fail to find what you need in the Manual or videos, our Customer Service representatives are always ready to help.
PSYBooks was designed by Susan C. Litton, Ph.D., a psychologist in private practice in Atlanta, GA. Susan became interested in the Web/mental health connection in 1995 when she became a volunteer chat host for a channel on America Online called Online Psych. Her duties expanded, Online Psych was purchased by iVillage.com and eventually, Susan was hired by iVillage as the Sr. Community Producer for their entire Health channel.
Susan thrived! Although her heart remained in the clinical setting, working on the Internet became a passion for her inner kid that was just plain FUN! She remembers vividly being given the tour of iVillage’s main office in NYC. When taken to the tech department (the people who made it all work) Susan thought, “I want to do THAT!” A few moments later, when the tour progressed to the graphics department (the people who made it pretty) Susan thought, “I want to do THAT!” And finally, when taken to the editorial department (the people who wrote the content) Susan thought, “Hey! I can already do that!”
Unfortunately, iVillage met with troubled times, and Susan was eventually laid off. However, with the money she had earned during her 2-year stint there, she decided to go back to school. She enrolled in the Web Design and Development program of the Art Institute of Atlanta – a degree program designed to teach both things she wanted to learn: how to make the Web work AND how to make it pretty.
While in school, Susan continued her work as a clinical psychologist. Around the time she needed an idea for her Senior Project, she began experiencing some frustration with the practice management system she was using. Having come from a family of do-it-yourselfers, Susan decided to build a prototype for a new EHR as her Senior Project. The prototype was successful and after graduating, Susan just kept tinkering with it. (This is fun for her, remember?)
After a while, it became obvious that she needed help. She began looking for a team to work with her and eventually found Mindfire Solutions – a company whose developers were content to have Susan work alongside them and who were also amazingly patient with her seemingly unending requests of, “This can be better. We need to redo it.” Or, “We need to add just ONE more new feature before we launch the next release.”
Susan also knew that PSYBooks needed to be 100% HIPAA/HITECH compliant. Being a clinician herself, it was important to her that client data was protected and that the HIPAA/HITECH guidelines were followed to a tee. However, when she tried to plow through all of the legal material, her eyes crossed. So she looked for and found a real gem: Carlos Leyva, an attorney who specializes in HIPAA/HITECH – AND online businesses – AND who is a geek at heart like her.
Working together, the team finally launched PSYBooks on July 7th, 2014 – a date chosen to honor Susan’s mother’s 89th birthday.