How to Build Mental Health Software with Vital Features
Thinking about trying healthcare management software for your mental health clinic? This is a good decision since healthcare software is a good way to cut extra costs while increasing efficiency and improving the level of patient care. Below are the main benefits of a mental health management application, its essential features, and the development issues you should take into account.
What is Mental Health Software?
Mental health software is an application or website (sometimes both) used by mental health clinics and their staff to manage patients, stay updated on the changes in their moods, provide emergency support and transparently organize the treatment processes.
A mental health electronic medical record (EMR) is the most essential feature of mental health software since it is used for collecting and storing patient data, mood changes, and lab tests.
Here are examples of mental health software companies to help you understand how these apps work in medical practice:
- Theranest mental health. This is an all-inclusive solution for mental health medical practice management. With its help, psychologists and psychiatrists can schedule personal and group appointments, take notes on the go, use telehealth features, bill patients, and get access to analytics for better business efficiency.
- Kareo mental health. This solution is more suitable for private practitioners as it allows them to manage their online presence and get discovered, schedule appointments, create medical records, use a pre-developed questionnaire for better diagnostics, bill patients and manage insurance claims.
What are the Benefits of a Mental Health Management System?
Because of the amazing set of features and great possibilities for improving the efficiency of your mental healthcare business, mental health practice software is a worthy investment. Here are the benefits you can get:
- Time and money savings. When a patient is able to choose a doctor and schedule a consultation online, it saves the time previously spent on phone calls and money spent to maintain reception staff.
- Transparency of treatment. When all the data is stored in one place, mental health treatment becomes transparent. That is very important because sometimes the patient cannot make decisions on his or her own, or the person’s mental state is hidden to avoid accountability.
- Better response to emergencies. Proper patient data organization can help doctors see patterns of behavior and insights that may identify potentially dangerous situations for the patients and others. Also, there is an opportunity to integrate mental health practice management software with patient control systems and devices to improve the doctors’ level of response and speed of reaction.
- Better hospital efficiency. Mental health EHR software may come with specific features that can perfectly fit the hospital’s business process and streamline the effectiveness of its operations. For example, there is an opportunity to connect mental health billing software with an accounting system used in a hospital to make the bookkeeping and reporting process easier and error-free.
The Full Set of Mental Health Software Features
Mental health assessment software comes with essential features and can be complemented by additional ones. Below is the list of functions that may be useful for your mental health care practice.
- Appointment Reminders and Scheduling. This is one of the core functions that allow patients to quickly choose a convenient time for a consultation thereby reducing no-shows and improving doctors’ efficiency.
- Claims Management. With this function, doctors/hospitals can receive payments from insurance companies that cover patient treatment.
- Treatment Plans. They are needed to come up with a treatment strategy and show the patients (especially those who suffer from anxiety disorders) that everything is going according to plan.
- EMR/EHR. Mental health electronic health records (EHR) software is a wider concept than mental health electronic medical records (EMR) software. While EHRs contain the complete health picture, EMRs reflect only some of its parts. So, if your clinic specializes in mental health care only, it makes sense to develop an EMR functionality. If your hospital works with a full range of physical and mental health disorders, the development of an EHR system is a better approach.
- E-Prescribing. With this feature, a doctor can come up with an easily shareable list of medications and/or recommendations based on a treatment plan.
- Initial Assessments. This is another time-saving function. For example, after scheduling a consultation, a patient may be offered a survey to share his or her complaints and let the doctor receive a preliminary picture of the problems that need to be addressed.
- Medical Billing. This feature allows the doctor to get paid for his services, either directly from the patients or from their insurance companies.
- Self-Service Portal. This feature helps a patient independently choose a doctor and schedule a consultation at a convenient time.
- Insurance Verification. In most cases mental health treatment is covered by the patient’s insurance contract, so a doctor should be able to check if the insurance is valid and what services will be paid for.
- Handwriting Recognition. This is an advanced feature of mental health treatment plan software. If a treatment plan requires a patient to keep a diary and write about his everyday experiences, this feature will be quite useful.
- Voice Recognition. Your patients may want to make voice notes about their feelings and emotions before, during, or after a specific situation and their psychiatrist will be able to refer to these notes during the consultation.
- Employee Management. Healthcare scheduling software may also come with staff management features. For example, it may help with the distribution of work among staff doctors.
- Self-monitoring. Home health care software may also come with self-monitoring functions. For example, the patient may choose his symptoms from a list and receive a preliminary diagnosis plus safe suggestions on what to do before they see the doctor.
- Wearable device connection. This feature is essential for difficult patients who can be dangerous to themselves and others. A wearable device can send an alarm, for example when a changing heart rhythm comes during a panic attack and the doctor can react immediately to calm the patient down in the hospital.
What Else Should You Consider Before Building Your Own Mental Health Software?
Mental health software is a cutting-edge technology that offers advantages for doctors and patients at the same time. However, its development is quite specific, so we put together a list of things you should take into account when developing one.
What Customizations Do You Need for Your Solution?
While ready-made solutions sound good, in most cases they are unable to satisfy specific business needs. Customized applications for healthcare management open up more opportunities to meet business requirements. So before taking on the development process, you should make a list of the specific tasks, issues and pain point your future solution should help you address.
What Devices Do You Plan to Use the Software On?
The devices and the operating systems you plan to use your software on also matter for the development process, its time, and its cost. The task is easier if you plan to use it on desktop computers only, however, in order to ensure flexibility for your doctors, it is better to come up with mobile versions or applications as well.
Should the Solutions be Cloud-Based or Use Your Services?
This is one more important question you need to answer. Most modern solutions are cloud-based, however, using your own servers may also make sense in some cases.
Do You Have Enough Resources to Ensure Data and Privacy Protection?
Medical solutions development is a responsible venture. In addition to a user-friendly interface for your doctors and patients, you should take some data protection measures. Here are the most essential ones.
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) defines the list of technical requirements that should be embedded on your website or in an application to protect medical data from hackers. It also includes rules of behavior for doctors when it comes to medical information sharing and exchange.
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a set of legal norms that state general principles for data protection for the apps developed and used in the European Union as well as those targeted at EU-based users.
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a financial data protection rules checklist that should be taken into account if you are going to accept payments with the help of your software for mental health management.
Are You Going to Hire an In-House Team or Find a Tech Provider?
The last question to ask is the practical side of the issue. To create mental health software, you should either hire a team on your own and supply it with all the necessary resources and equipment or outsource your software development tasks to a third-party vendor. The last way makes more sense since it significantly saves you time, money, and effort. What’s more, you can choose a team with medical software building experience to help with the development process and keep you stress-free.
Healthcare management software is a worthy investment for your hospital, doctors, and patients. Get in touch with us to help you develop a mental health application. We are well-versed in medical solution creation, and stay up to date with the best data protection practices. We will be able to build your software in the most reasonable way possible.