Practice Management System and Portal for Mental Health Professionals and their Clients

susanlitton

/Susan Litton

About Susan Litton

Susan C. Litton, Ph.D. holds degrees in both psychology and IT. In addition to being the developer of the PSYBooks EHR & Portal, she's been a practicing clinical psychologist in Decatur, GA, since 1985.

Does the Open Notes Rule Apply to Me?

The term "Open Notes Rule" is a popular term coined to depict the legislation enacted by the 21st Century Cures Act that is more accurately referred to as the ONC's final program rule on Interoperability, Information Blocking, and ONC Health IT Certification (OpenNotes, 2020). It is a continuation of the legislation originally enacted as part of the HITECH act of 2009 to promote EHR interoperability (with the ultimate goal being a national database for healthcare information on all U.S. Citizens) and open access to records. The Open Notes Rule does NOT apply to PSYBooks users but there are some important things to understand about the current iteration of this legislation, partly in an attempt to help prepare us for what might be coming in the future.

By |2021-02-23T01:17:23-04:00February 18th, 2021|Current, Notes in PSYBooks|0 Comments

Why Do People Hate Electronic Health Records (EHRs)?

Actually, most patients don't. A recent study conducted by Catalyst Healthcare Research found that 93% of adults would prefer to go to a doctor that offers email communication, even if there was a $25 fee (Pai, 2014). Encrypted email is incorporated into most, if not all present-day EHRs that also have patient portals. By being integrated with the entire medical record, it's relatively easy for doctors to correspond with patients right from their electronic chart. Leaders in prominent health care groups in Houston, encouraged patient enrollment in their EHR system and have found similar results. Dr. Robert Dickinson, Kelsey-Seybold's medical director for executive health and wellness says, "They think it's the coolest thing they've ever seen. It's like online banking. People love this kind of access. Before, it was kind of mysterious" (Hines, 2014).

However, when you ask doctors if they like EHRs, you often get an entirely different story. You mostly hear dislike, frustration and irritability. There are actually excellent reasons for this.

By |2021-02-28T03:04:10-04:00February 17th, 2021|Current, Efile, ERAs and EFTs, How To Choose an EHR|0 Comments

More Than a Three-Room House

Imagine a two-room house whose occupants have outgrown it. They decide to solve the dilemma by tacking another room on the back. Great! The siding doesn't quite match - nor does the roof. Some of the existing old-growth trees had to be felled to make the new room fit, and when you're inside, you have to remember to step down and duck a bit as you enter the new room. But hey! The owners still have that extra room! If they decide to put their home on the market, they can advertise it as having three rooms.

Unfortunately, some EHRs are built like this.

By |2021-02-19T02:05:42-04:00April 9th, 2020|Current, Telehealth|Comments Off on More Than a Three-Room House

Why Get an Integrated Product?

As a therapist, you can amass your digital tools one at a time or you can invest in a well-integrated bundled product. For example, let's say right now you're mostly looking for a video platform so you can do telehealth. There are companies that ONLY offer subscriptions to video platforms. But is that the best choice?

Depends.

For example, what happens if, after you sign up for your standalone video product, you realize that you also need a way to collect your fees from your telehealth clients. And maybe you need encrypted email so you can contact people in a way that's secure. Or maybe now you need HIPAA-compliant file storage, as your clients begin to send you documents via their new encrypted email. Or perhaps a way to schedule clients online. Or maybe a way to efile and also to send statements and receipts digitally. That's a LOT of tools and we're just getting started!

By |2021-02-19T02:08:17-04:00March 22nd, 2020|Current, Features, Telehealth|Comments Off on Why Get an Integrated Product?

Do I Have to use HIPAA-Compliant Video? 

Right now is a stressful time as COVID-19, more commonly known as coronavirus, continues to spread. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have both emphasized how now it’s more important than ever for us to maintain “social distancing.” How do we do that and maintain our ethical and legal obligations to our clients – not to mention keeping our income relatively intact?

By |2021-02-19T02:09:28-04:00March 15th, 2020|Current|Comments Off on Do I Have to use HIPAA-Compliant Video? 

Doing Telehealth? You Need a Portal.

Think you're not doing telehealth? Think again. Although there's no one-size-fits-all definition that cuts across state and/or discipline lines, most agree that telehealth basically involves any electronic method you use to communicate with or about your clients. This can include common things like phones, email and electronic file storage, in addition to video sessions, which is what we typically think of with the term telehealth.

By |2021-02-19T12:42:23-04:00July 27th, 2017|Client Portal, HIPAA/HITECH, How To Choose an EHR, Telehealth, What to Look for in a Telehealth Portal, Why Use an EHR?|Comments Off on Doing Telehealth? You Need a Portal.

Business Associate Agreements:
Do We Really Need Them?

I sometimes hear therapists mention specific software programs they’re using in their practices for tasks like notes, calendar/schedulers, online file storage, billing, video sessions or email and then add something like, “They’re HIPAA compliant. They just don’t – you know – have Business Associate Agreements.”

By |2019-04-10T12:03:25-04:00July 24th, 2017|HIPAA/HITECH, How To Choose an EHR, Why Use an EHR?|Comments Off on Business Associate Agreements:
Do We Really Need Them?

Are We Becoming Outdated?

In the not too distant past, a therapist with some kind of note pad in hand was the norm. It was expected. We were doing our jobs and interested enough in the client to take notes on what they were saying. I was part of that crowd. Although I preferred to write my notes after the client left, I definitely felt that paper notes were the way to go and I burned through many legal pads in the early years of my career.

By |2019-04-29T18:19:43-04:00July 15th, 2017|Client Portal, Notes in PSYBooks, Why Use an EHR?|Comments Off on Are We Becoming Outdated?

What Will Happen to Your Clients?

Most of us have documents like a will, power of attorney and other estate planning instruments either already in place or at least on our “I’ll get to that eventually” list. Far fewer have given much thought to how we would want our clients to be taken care of in the case of our demise or anything else that would cause a sudden interruption in our ability to provide services.

By |2019-04-10T12:04:30-04:00June 16th, 2017|Features, PSYBooks Users, Why Use an EHR?|Comments Off on What Will Happen to Your Clients?

Encrypted Email:
Your Role in Keeping it Safe

Some people like to point out that encrypted email isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. “After all,” they warn, “as soon as someone has access to your username and password, it no longer matters whether your email is encrypted or not.” Well . . . yes. That’s an accurate statement. However, to use that line of reasoning would be like telling us not to bother locking our homes or cars. After all, as soon as someone gets access to your keys, those locks become useless.

By |2019-06-11T03:39:40-04:00October 23rd, 2016|Client Portal, Features|Comments Off on Encrypted Email:
Your Role in Keeping it Safe