Compare Behavioral Health EHR Software (2023)

Mental and behavioral health practitioners face a number of complex challenges while dealing with patients, including high risk of non-compliance, confidentiality, complex long-term treatment plans and comorbidity with other conditions.

This means it is often hard to know where to begin when selecting a mental and behavioral health EHR. Making the wrong choice isn’t just costly - in the worst cases, it can throw your practice’s ability to provide the best possible care for your patients into jeopardy.

That’s why we’ve put together this buyers’ guide for mental health EHRs. We’ll discuss:

  • What features you should look for in an EHR for your behavioral and mental health practice
  • How much mental and behavioral health EHR should cost
  • Which vendors you should consider when choosing a behavioral and mental health EHR

Whilst needs will vary between size and type of practice - multi-specialty practices will have a different set of requirements to a clinic specifically dealing with substance abuse, for example - thisguide will give you a good grounding in how tofind the right system for you.

What features should I look for in a behavioral and mental health EHR?

The answer to this question will largely depend on what requirements your practice has.

That’s why it is essential to carry out a suitable requirements gathering exercise before diving into the search for new EHR software. You’ll need to have a good handle on where your current system is letting you down, key stakeholder interests, and how you hope a new EHR will make things better for your clinicians.

Nevertheless, there are a few challenges that all behavioral and mental health practices need to address. These include:

(Video) Top 7 Reasons Why You Need Behavioral Health EHR Software Today

  • Supporting patients on complex treatment plans: mental health recovery plans frequently need to accommodate talking therapies, medication, socio-economic factors and input from other providers
  • The need to accommodate multiple facility types: clinicians treat mental health patients as inpatients, outpatients and everything in between
  • Patient confidentiality and data protection: this is crucial for mental health practices; any new software should help meet compliance needs surrounding this.

Check out our comprehensive EHR selection survival guide for more on the requirements gathering process

To meet these challenges head-on and ensure the best possible outcomes for your patients, there are several EHR features you should be considering.

We’ll start with the basics:

  • Your EHR should meet all compliance requirements. Ideally, you’ll want to be Meaningful Use certified to at least level two, and it goes without saying that HIPAA compliance is a must-have
  • An e-prescribing module allows you to keep on top of patient prescriptions and reduce unnecessary paperwork. It’ll need to be equipped to deal with controlled substance prescriptions too
  • Lab integration is useful for getting test results back quickly and efficient results sharing with other healthcare providers
  • Flexible charting styles are a must-have; behavioral and mental health is a broad church, and patients present in a variety of ways. You need to enable your clinicians to deal with this.
  • Patient portalis a challenge for mental health practitioners due to the nature of the illnesses they treat. Any software you choose should offer an easy-to-use patient portal at the very least, and ideally be able to remind patients of any upcoming appointments.

To enhance your clinicians’ experience with the software and to get themaximum benefit out of your mental health EHR, consider some of these more advanced options:

  • Specialty-specific menus and intake forms can make all the difference to your clinicians workflow, particularly when a patient has a long or complicated treatment history. In a psychiatric environment, documentation tools should include the Sadness Scale and suicidal/violent risk factors assessments, for example.
  • Hands-free notes - whether through dictation or pre-programmed buttons, this allows better patient engagement. In environments where a lot rests on how the patient describes their illness, this is extremely useful

Compare Behavioral Health EHR Software (1)

ICANotes’ interface. Note the buttons down the side to simplify note taking and minimize need for typing

  • Medication management - as mental health conditions are often comorbid with physical disorders, your physicians need to keep on top of other prescriptions patients might be taking. Medication management helps to do this and can provide alerts if there’s risk of a harmful drug interaction.

Among all these factors one of the most important things to consider when choosing a behavioral health EHR rests in the needs of a practice’s patient population. Features should be tailored to best meet your practice’s patient population’s needs.

Patients receiving behavioral health services present unique challenges regarding the scope and type of services required. For example, patients receiving behavioral health services require a unique array of screening tools and a higher level of care coordination when compared to patients presenting at other ambulatory clinics. Further, the type of care behavioral health patients require can run a broad gamut from traditional behavioral health services to more intensive forms of treatment such as addiction treatment. Given the considerations, mentioned above behavioral health practices must pay careful attention when selecting an EHR to be certain it has the right features that can enhance a behavioral health practice’s service mission.

(Video) ICANotes Behavioral Health EHR Recommendation!

The following are examples of features that behavioral health practices should consider essential when selecting an EHR.

Patient engagement -Patients suffering from serious mental illness have increased rates of preventableco-occurring conditions. Common co-occurring conditions for behavioral health patients include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and respiratory disease. Given the high rates of co-occurring conditions in this patient population, behavioral health practices can benefit from deploying patient engagement features usually found in patient portal features. Features that encourage patient engagement can benefit behavioral health patients by putting in place conditions which can improve the likelihood a patient will comply with treatment and receive educational material on preventative treatment.

Support for telehealth -Delivering care through telehealth technology supplies a promising way to offer services for hard to reach populations and provide services in underserved areas. Among behavioral health practitioners surveyed in a study conducted by the University of Michigan’s Behavioral Health Workforce Center a majority of respondents believe telehealth is important to the success of their organization and a valuable tool for improving access to services and quality of care. In light of these findings and the value telehealth features can bring to a practice, EHR selection teams searching for a mental health EMR should consider telehealth an important feature to consider.

Seamless integration of care with other providers - Patients requiring behavioral health services often require integrated treatment for multiple disorders and other cooccurring health conditions. In these situations, behavioral health providers, as part of providing care that takes into consideration, both the mental health of their patients, but also their physical health will need to coordinate with other providers. Under these circumstances, providers should be able to share information with other providers to better coordinate care. As such, the ideal EHR for behavioral health should be widely interoperable and allow patients and other outside providers to request records and stay up to date in on a patient’s treatment history and treatment plans moving forward.

How much does mental and behavioral health EHR cost?

This is a big question - perhaps bigger than you might initially think.

It’s difficult to give any sort of useful average here, as the baseline price offered by vendors is really just the start of it. The overall cost of an EHR system will depend on a number of factors, each of which will be different for each practice. These include:

  • Deployment method
  • Whether you need to update your hardware (for on-premise systems)
  • The support package you choose
  • Implementation services offered by vendor - e.g training, consultancy, data migration
  • Reduced practice throughput during implementation
  • Overtime worked by staff during implementation (whether to make up for lost efficiency or to implement the system itself)

That said, baseline prices can be useful in creating your budget, as long as you forecast for hidden costs as well.

Vendors can be a bit cloak and dagger about how much a system will cost. Sometimes this is because they’ll need a better idea of what you’re after (modules, customization etc) before they can give you a reliable quote. Sometimes it’s simply a case of selling first, talking price later.

(Video) 5 Great Features To Try in Best Mental Health EHR Software - CAPMINDS.COM

We’ve taken a snapshot of some mental and behavioral health vendors’ prices from our EHR pricing guide to start you off - though do check out the whole thing if you need some broader data.

Cloud-based behavioral health EHR (prices per provider/per month):

  • Practice Fusion - free
  • ICANotes - $149 for prescribing clinicians. $69 for non-prescribing clinicians.

Compare Behavioral Health EHR Software (2)

ICANotes tiered pricing structure. Why it’s essential to nail down your user requirements before budgeting.

  • drchrono - $199

Compare Behavioral Health EHR Software (3)

drchrono’s pricing progression is a perfect example of how much prices can vary depending on the features you need

  • CureMD EHR - $295
  • McKesson - $349

On-premise behavioral health EHRs (prices are a one-off fee per provider):

  • Amazing Charts - $1200

Compare Behavioral Health EHR Software (4)

Amazing Charts’ breakdown of license fees and annual maintenance and support costs

Which mental health EHR vendors should I consider?

There are a few approaches you could take here.

(Video) Top 5 EHR Systems

The first is searching for a specialty-specific EHR. These are systems that have been built around the needs of behavioral and mental health clinicians.

These are generally more likely to contain the ‘advanced’ features outlined above and will probably require less customization to suit your workflow. On the other hand, interoperability could be an issue, as larger, more well-known systems are often better designed to integrate with other software.

Specialty-specific EHRs suit specialty-specific practices best. If you do mental and behavioral health and nothing else, here are a few good options to consider:

  • Carelogic EHR: provided by Qualifacts, Carelogic is designed for use in a range of mental and behavioral health settings, including psychiatry, therapy, substance abuse and more. Deployments tend to be in practices with 20 clinicians or more.
  • ICANotes EHR: ICANotes is a web-based psychiatry EHR used by a wide range of mental health professionals. It allows users to take mental health progress notes and reports without typing or transcription expenses by using a range of pre-formatted buttons.

Compare Behavioral Health EHR Software (5)

ICANotes’ calendar and scheduling tool

  • Valant EHR: Valant is a cloud EHR designed for both behavioral and mental health-focused private practices. It works well on smartphones and tablets, and the UX is based on a mobile app design for familiarity and ease of use.

Compare Behavioral Health EHR Software (6)

Recording a patient encounter in Valant.

Looking for more options? Use our free EHR comparison engine to find the right software for your practice.

(Video) What is Mental Health EHR Software? - Software Advice Video Buyer Guide

Another option would be to look at a multi-specialty vendors offering mental and behavioral health workflows and pre-customized templates. This is a sort of ‘halfway house’ solution which could suit multi-specialty practices who need more than just mental health EHR, but lack the time and resources for heavy customization.

Finally, you could choose a general EHR and customize it to suit your workflow. This could be a good idea if you’re part of a multi-specialty practice looking for a solution that can be adapted to all your needs. If you choose to go down this route, make sure you have the resources available to customize your software well.

FAQs

What is the best EHR for therapists? ›

8 Best Mental Health EHR Software for Private Practices
  • CentralReach. 4.45/5 (Read user reviews) ...
  • CounSol.com. 4.74/5 (Read user reviews) ...
  • InSync Healthcare Solutions. 4.56/5 (Read user reviews) ...
  • KASA. 4.38/5 (Read user reviews) ...
  • Praxis EMR. 4.97/5 (Read user reviews) ...
  • RXNT. 4.46/5 (Read user reviews) ...
  • SimplePractice. ...
  • TherapyNotes.
Jan 13, 2022

What are the top 3 EHR systems in healthcare? ›

Top 10 inpatient EHR vendors by market share
RankEHR Vendor% of Market Share
1.Epic Systems Corporation36.92%
2.Oracle Cerner22.59%
3.MEDITECH14.09%
4.Evident, a CPSI Company7.72%
6 more rows

What are 3 EHR software systems commonly used by physician offices? ›

Epic, Cerner, Allscripts, eClinicalWorks and NextGen have been named the most widely used EHRs by physicians, according to Medscape's EHR Report. Epic continues to dominate the EHR market for hospitals and health systems with 37% of users, nearly three times as many as Cerner with 13% of hospital users.

What is the main difference between EMR and EHR? ›

Although some clinicians use the terms EHR and EMR interchangeably, the benefits they offer vary greatly. An EMR (electronic medical record) is a digital version of a chart with patient information stored in a computer and an EHR (electronic health record) is a digital record of health information.

What is a behavioral health EHR? ›

Behavioral health EHR/EMR software helps health care professionals deliver high-quality care and improve patient outcomes. They automate work processes and assist in streamlining communication between patients and clinicians, saving time and money.

What is Behavioral Health software? ›

Mental health software, also known as behavioral health software, allows physicians, therapists and other related professionals to manage their clinical, administrative and operational workflows. The software also manages patient case or outcome management and ensures regulatory compliance.

Why is Epic the best EHR? ›

Epic's inherent scalability allows healthcare organizations of all sizes to utilize their software. The company offers a flexible, scalable foundation that fits varying budgets and workflows, and supports growth within a healthcare facility.

Is MEDITECH or Epic better? ›

Reviewers felt that Epic meets the needs of their business better than Meditech Expanse. When comparing quality of ongoing product support, reviewers felt that Epic is the preferred option. For feature updates and roadmaps, our reviewers preferred the direction of Epic over Meditech Expanse.

What is the most used EHR? ›

Over the years, Epic has been the biggest mover of EHR market share.

What is the difference between Cerner and Epic? ›

Epic incorporates a CRM, and Cerner has no CRM. Cerner provides consulting, whereas Epic does not. While Cerner provides users with real-time data, Epic does not.

How do I choose electronic medical records software? ›

How to choose an EHR system
  1. Cost. The prices of EHR systems depend on the features you choose, the vendor you select, and how many providers are in your practice. ...
  2. Ease of use. ...
  3. Cloud-based hosting. ...
  4. Implementation and training. ...
  5. Integration. ...
  6. Customer service. ...
  7. ONC EHR certification.

Is Epic an EMR or EHR? ›

Is Epic an EHR or EMR? Epic is a cloud-based EHR built for hospitals with the functionality to handle the day-to-day operations of a practice, including patient medical records. An EMR (electronic medical records) system is responsible for medical records alone, Epic medal records are available in the Epic EHR system.

Do hospitals use EMR or EHR? ›

For example, while hospitals and larger health enterprises typically use EHRs to provide a comprehensive view of patient care, they may also opt for EMRs to track specific patient data over time to help create patient-specific health plans.

Is Cerner an EMR or EHR? ›

Cerner EMRs

Electronic medical records (EMR) software also known as electronic health record (EHR) software, makes it possible to automate a medical practice's clinical operations, such as documenting diagnoses and medications. Cerner has an EMR system to fit the needs of every type of healthcare provider.

What are the disadvantages of electronic health records? ›

Yet, despite all that, studies have also identified many potential drawbacks to EHRs including increased initial acquisition and regular maintenance costs, and workflow interruptions due to the need to learn a new system, which can play a role in productivity losses.

How much is kareo EHR? ›

A Kareo EHR package ranges between $150 and $300 per month. Kareo marketing services come at an addition cost of $150 to $300 per month. Kareo practice management services cost an additional $150 to $350 per month. Kareo medical billing services cost between 4% and 9% of the collections.

How much does TheraNest cost? ›

TheraNest Pricing & Cost

$39 per month for up to 30 active clients. $60 per month for up to 50 active clients. $91 per month for up to 80 active clients.

What is EMR EHR software? ›

EHR / EMR software is a computer system that helps healthcare providers manage patient medical records and automate clinical workflows. EHR systems allow providers to: Create customizable templates for taking notes during patient encounters. Generate reports on practice efficiency and compliance with government ...

What types of technology mental health centers utilize to manage the business of counseling? ›

treatment technologies include virtual reality, biofeedback devices, neuro- feedback devices, transcranial magnetic stimulation, electrocranial therapy, and others. these devices can also be used to assess and monitor the biological and emotional com- ponents of various states.

What are the disadvantages of Epic? ›

Epic EHR Disadvantages
  • Bugged Updates. Scott from Metro West was disappointed with the extra bugs each new update to Epic brings: “Their support is unhelpful. ...
  • Low-Quality Training. ...
  • Cumbersome UI. ...
  • Bad Customer Support and Unfair Pricing. ...
  • Dysfunctional Updates. ...
  • Billing Issues. ...
  • Low Uptime. ...
  • Inefficient Data Entry.
Apr 26, 2020

Who is Cerner's biggest competitor? ›

Cerner's top competitors include Epic Systems, Optum, Intersystems, Allscripts, athenahealth and Medidata. Cerner Corporation is a supplier of healthcare information technology solutions and tech-enabled services.

Is Epic EMR hard to learn? ›

Is Epic EMR hard to use? Epic EMR's certification process can be very challenging, hence making it hard to learn. A lot of learning is required. It is also difficult to navigate for a beginner due to its extensive features.

Is Cerner losing to Epic? ›

EHR giant Cerner loses major health system client AdventHealth to Epic.

Is Cerner or MEDITECH better? ›

Reviewers felt that Cerner meets the needs of their business better than Meditech Expanse. When comparing quality of ongoing product support, reviewers felt that Cerner is the preferred option. For feature updates and roadmaps, our reviewers preferred the direction of Cerner over Meditech Expanse.

What happened to MEDITECH? ›

May 02, 2018 - Later this week, UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center (YVMC) will abandon its MEDITECH EHR system in favor of an Epic EHR replacement in an effort to streamline health data exchange with other hospitals and healthcare facilities part of the UCHealth network.

What software do most medical offices use? ›

Electronic Health Record (EHR) Software

EHR software is one of the most popular (if not the single most popular) type of software used by hospitals and clinics. In many ways, it's similar to a CRM, only adjusted to the medical industry.

What software do most hospitals use? ›

Electronic Health Records (EHR)

The two most popular types of EHR software are the Electronic Patient Record (EPR) and Electronic Medical Record (EMR). The EPR is used by hospitals internally to store their patients' data.

Is Oracle still buying Cerner? ›

Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL) announced that a majority of the outstanding shares (the “Shares”) of Cerner Corporation (Nasdaq: CERN) were validly tendered, and the other conditions to the tender offer have been satisfied or waived. The deal will close on June 8, 2022.

Why does Oracle want to buy Cerner? ›

Oracle said Cerner will be the company's "anchor asset" to expand into healthcare and it's expected that the acquisition should help Oracle scale up its cloud business in the hospital and health system market.

What percentage of hospitals use Epic? ›

Electronic health record market share by vendor

Data accurate as of June 2021. Of the 7,266 U.S. hospitals in the Definitive Healthcare HospitalView product, Epic EHR is currently installed in 2,353 locations — approximately 36 percent of the EHR market share.

How much does Epic EHR cost? ›

Epic's pricing starts at $1,200.00 for their self-hosted solutions, and $500,000 for large clinics and hospitals. Epic does not offer a free trial; however, it does provide a free demo presented by the vendor's sales representatives.

Who uses Epic EHR? ›

Epic system is primarily used by large USA hospitals and health systems for storing, accessing, organizing, and sharing electronic medical records. According to the KLAS Research report 2020, Epic maintains 29 percent of the share for acute care US hospitals, the largest share in the EHR market.

Is Epic Hipaa compliant? ›

Epic EHR is a HIPAA-compliant software that is focused on protecting patient privacy. Epic promises to keep patient data secure, whether a practice is using the EHR software on a mobile device, desktop computer, or web browser.

How much is kareo? ›

How much does Kareo's EMR system cost? Depending on your practice size and specialty, Kareo's EMR will cost between $87.50 and $500 per provider per month. The low end of this range is highly competitive among the medical software we reviewed.

How much does TheraNest cost? ›

TheraNest Pricing & Cost

$39 per month for up to 30 active clients. $60 per month for up to 50 active clients. $91 per month for up to 80 active clients.

What online platforms are Hipaa compliant? ›

Here is a list of some of the top teletherapy platforms to look into to expand your practice into the virtual services realm.
  • Doxy.me.
  • SimplePractice.
  • thera-LINK.
  • Zoom for Healthcare.
  • VSee.
Apr 15, 2020

Is Epic EMR web based? ›

Epic EHR is cloud-based, so available on any device with an internet browser installed. Native apps are available for iOS and Android operating systems.

Is Practice Fusion really free? ›

Practice Fusion is a free web-based EHR that is widely used across the medical industry, especially by smaller, cost-conscious medical practices. The software is endorsed by Dr. Oz, and has gained recognition as one of the premier free EHR systems.

Who uses Kareo? ›

There are over 150,000 billers, office managers, doctors, providers, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and therapists that trust Kareo to run a better practice.

Is Kareo free? ›

Kareo EHR is available free of charge, with no long-term commitments, no expensive implementation or ongoing support costs. Physicians simply sign up and get started. Kareo coaches are available to help physicians take full advantage of the features of Kareo EHR and free support is included for all users.

Who owns TheraNest? ›

As founder and CEO of TheraNest, Shegun has built the company around practice management and electronic health records software for mental and behavioral health organizations and practices.

Does TheraNest have a clearinghouse? ›

If you are using our software, TheraNest (if not, you can sign up for a free 21-day trial here), we support Office Ally, a nationwide clearinghouse.

Is TheraNest HIPAA compliant? ›

TheraNest is HIPAA compliant. All data is encrypted and stored securely using Amazon Web Services. Amazon's servers infrastructure are certified, ensure the highest physical security and guarantee a 99.9% uptime.

What is the most used telehealth platform? ›

Zoom is the most popular platform providers use for telehealth visits, according to research released Nov.

Is Zoom HIPAA compliant for psychotherapy? ›

The answer to the question of “Is Zoom HIPAA compliant” is “yes,” because Zoom meets the following required Security Rule measures: Zoom contains authentication measures.

How much does Zoom HIPAA cost? ›

Zoom offers enterprise features and simple user management — so there's no need for a dedicated IT staff. Small practices can go online to get Zoom licenses that help enable HIPAA-compliant programs by executing a BAA, starting at $14.99 per month. Schedule a video visit with your patient.

Why is Epic the best EHR? ›

Epic's inherent scalability allows healthcare organizations of all sizes to utilize their software. The company offers a flexible, scalable foundation that fits varying budgets and workflows, and supports growth within a healthcare facility.

Is Epic easier than Meditech? ›

When assessing the two solutions, reviewers found Epic easier to use, set up, and administer. Reviewers also preferred doing business with Epic overall. Reviewers felt that Epic meets the needs of their business better than Meditech Expanse.

How is Epic different from Cerner? ›

Epic incorporates a CRM, and Cerner has no CRM. Cerner provides consulting, whereas Epic does not. While Cerner provides users with real-time data, Epic does not.

Videos

1. Behavioral Health: EHR Optimization and Growth Strategy
(Medical Advantage)
2. How to Choose an EHR for your Private Practice
(SimplePractice)
3. Video: Importance of Behavioral Health EHR Software
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4. Video: How does Behavioral Health EHR software create value in organizations
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5. Accumedic Behavioral Health EHR Software
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6. EHR for Behavioral Health
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