Mental Health Centers' Specialized Operations Amid Multi-Agency Regulatory Requirements also Inspires Practice to Form Separate Company to Resell Custom MedInformatix Solution
CARMEL, Ind., June 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Upon joining BehaviorCorp as medical director in 1990, Dr, Jerry Sheward, M.D. recognized the glaring need for then non-existent electronic medical records (EMR) to enable the multi-location behavior health care organization to optimize the services it provided to adults and children in the Indianapolis area and across Central Indiana. The practice's UNIX-based practice management (PM) solution, apart from residing on a reliable but closed operating system, was not user friendly, and therefore didn't provide what Dr. Sheward and his colleagues viewed as the right platform for EMR solutions to come.
Compounding these challenges was the fact that the system did not address specific requirements of psychiatric practices and offices, which, unlike general and other specialty practices, in addition to Joint Commission accreditation also must adhere to the strict requirements of a myriad of other governmental and regulatory agencies. While Dr. Sheward identified seven psychiatric practice-centric management systems by the 2000-2001 timeframe, including solutions from NextGen and A4, among others, he found them still too heavily geared toward general medical practices.
Testing a variety of these, BehaviorCorp in 2002 chose MedInformatix Inc.'s Practice Management solution for its new office platform, adding clinical functionality the following year working in lock step with the vendor to develop custom features for a psychiatric practice.
"The Joint Commission, Indiana, Medicare, Medicaid and other agencies each have regulations as they relate to behavioral health practices covering patient treatments and outcomes. The fact that we provide treatment planning; outpatient, residential and group home services; foster care assistance; and, substance abuse treatment to 12,000 patients each year demanded a customized solution," said Dr. Sheward, now vice president and chief medical officer of Carmel-based Aspire Indiana, the result of a merger between BehaviorCorp and The Center for Mental Health, Anderson, Ind.
"MedInformatix was fully willing and extremely helpful in working with us to modify the [PM] module to support our ability to track billing as it relates to the adjustable fees we charge based on individual patients' ability to pay," Dr. Sheward continued. "Without their flexibility and technical expertise, we can't imagine how we'd manage in this extremely regulated environment."
Dr Sheward, who specializes in treating serious and persistent psychiatric disorders among adults, supervises a team of 10 psychiatrists, two prescribing APNs, nurses, and an in-patient liaison staff that serve Aspire's clients. This team comprises a part of Aspire's total 400-employee staff, each member of which daily use the jointly developed MedInformatix/Aspire Practice Management (PM) and Electronic Medical Records (EMR) solution, which also includes MedInformatix' e-Prescribing (eRx) module. In addition to enabling communication with patients' preferred pharmacies, eRx eliminates the need for printed prescriptions and nets Aspire a monetary bonus from the Federal Government, which rewards practices for green initiatives that use electronic rather than paper-based communication.
Upon its development and implementation, MedInformatix' customized EMR solution quickly became so beneficial to Aspire's operations that Dr, Sheward, as vice president of operations, and a team of former BehaviorCorp clinicians and practice management personnel opted to form ARCHEON, a separate value-added reseller to market and provide product support to other large behavioral healthcare providers.
Next up for Aspire is leveraging the MedInformatix' EMR solution to achieve Stage 1 Meaningful Use certification, a testament to the product's enhanced ability to track patient conditions, treatments and outcomes.
"MedInformatix continues to closely work with us to improve the PM and EMR solution as both our practice's operations and those of our ARCHEON clients continue to evolve," Dr. Sheward said. "Their technicians are extremely helpful and also often anticipate and make suggestions about system enhancements. We can't imagine running our practice without it."
MedInformatix, Inc. (www.medinformatix.com) is a leading national provider of fully integrated Electronic Health Records. The products have been built around MedInformatix's 25 years of workflow expertise. MedInformatix's suite of products is designed on a single database using Microsoft SQL. Whether the client is a single physician who went live in 1994, a 13-location cardiology practice, the busiest radiology practice in Manhattan, or one of 15 other serviced specialties, MedInformatix accommodates their needs. MedInformatix can turn the dream of a paperless, integrated practice into a reality.
MedInformatix Version 7.5 is now certified to meet 2011-2012 criteria supporting Stage 1 Meaningful Use requirements under the American Recovery and Reinvestment act (ARRA) as a Complete EHR by the Drummond Group.
This Complete EHR is 2011/2012 compliant and has been certified by an ONC-ATCB in accordance with the applicable certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. This certification does not represent an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or guarantee the receipt of incentive payments."
MedInformatix, October 22, 2010, Version 7.5, 1022201024238, Clinical Quality Measures: NQF0013, NQF0421, NQF0041, NQF0024, NQF0028, NQF0038, NQF0059, NQF0061, NQF0064. Additional software used: TrueCrypt v2.0, email software, spreadsheet software.