Updated: Aug 29, 2021
With more and more practices and businesses choosing to go the paperless route, a matter of security is more than likely an issue with most businesses. How can they protect the integrity of their patients, while saving time and money by going paperless?
There are many different platforms out there that promise to help keep EHR (Electronic Health Records) private. What is an EHR? An EHR is basically a digital version of a patients’ paper chart. EHRs are real-time, patient-centered records that make information available instantly and securely to authorized users. While an EHR does contain the medical and treatment histories of patients, an EHR system is built to go beyond standard clinical data collected in a provider’s office and can be inclusive of a broader view of a patient’s care.
EHRs are a vital part of health IT and can:
Contain a patient’s medical history, diagnoses, medications, treatment plans, immunization dates, allergies, radiology images, and laboratory and test results
Allow access to evidence-based tools that providers can use to make decisions about a patient’s care
Automate and streamline provider workflow
One of the key features of an EHR is that health information can be created and managed by authorized providers in a digital format capable of being shared with other providers across more than one health care organization. EHRs are built to share information with other health care providers and organizations – such as laboratories, specialists, medical imaging facilities, pharmacies, emergency facilities, and school and workplace clinics – so they contain information from all clinicians involved in a patient’s care (https://www.healthit.gov/faq/what-electronic-health-record-ehr).
Why are EHRs so important? They are vital to Private Practices, as it helps to keep the clients' information and diagnosis up-to-date, helps to keep their information organized without a paper trail and everything all in one place.
While there are many platforms to choose from, here are the top 3 picks from other therapists.
EHR CHOICE #1
SimplePractice is a practice management platform that is integrated with secure messaging, paperless intake forms, progress notes, insurance claim e-filing, a digital client portal, online booking, payment processing, free appointment reminders, and more. It helps to keep data secured with anonymous calls and information private with bank-level encryption.
How is that secure?
Well, SimplePractice features an easy website builder, Telehealth video appointments, a streamlined client portal, simple claim filing for insurance, a digital organization for scheduling appointments, customizable templates for documentation, and paperless billing. It also makes it easy for clients to confirm appointments, fill out paperwork (ahead of their appointment time), and they can even update their billing information and make payments online. Simplepractice also ensures client privacy and centralizes all communications, via HIPAA-compliant messaging. Not only that, but SimplePractice has affordable pricing for both solo and group practices. For a solo practice, they start at $39 per month for an essential plan and $59 per month for a professional plan. Both plans are HIPPA-Compliant, come with a free 30-day trial and you have the option to cancel at any time.
Check out more information for what these plans offer, here.
For a group practice, it is just $98 per month and the pricing for that is broken down like this: $59 for the first clinician + $39 for each additional clinician (x2)
This plan offers the same as the essential and professional plans in the solo pricing, but they offer much more. Check out the pricing and features here.
EHR CHOICE #2
Ever heard of TherapyNotes? You can do a lot of different things with them. TherapyNotes seems to be geared towards a younger generation, just from the “feel” of the website. But that shouldn’t detour you from them! They still offer many great services! You can quickly schedule appointments and manage tasks. Your calendar and to-do lists easily connect to your records, notes, and billing to help you save time and stay organized. You can easily create comprehensive documentation with a variety of note templates, and keep your charts organized with HIPAA-compliant electronic medical records.
Clients want to feel like they’re very important, and not just another number. TherapyNotes has a variety of ways to stay in touch with your clients, letting them know they are the priority. Through a custom client portal, where they can request and manage appointments online and share paperwork electronically. You can meet clients online with secure video sessions, integrated right into TherapyNotes and the patient portal, using Telehealth. TherapyNotes also has unlimited customer support where you can enjoy unlimited phone and email support from their knowledgeable customer success team and you have 24/7 access to their online resources.
There is much more that they offer and you can check that out here.
The pricing for TherapyNotes is priced similarly to SimplePractice. For one user, the Solo Plan is $49 per month. This is great for solo practitioners or new providers who are just getting started. The Group Plan is $59 per month, for the first clinician, and you would add $30 per month per additional clinician and $20 per month per intern. You also have unlimited non-clinical staff. The Enterprise Plan has the same pricing as the Group Plan, but is for 30+ users and includes a designated account manager. Every plan has a free 30-day trial, pricing guarantee, incredible phone and email support, custom client portal, unlimited file storage, and unlimited clients, appointments, and notes. They have much more as well. You can check it out here.
EHR CHOICE #3
TheraNest, from first glance, looks pretty easy to use. TheraNest offers Mental Health Billing Services, e-Prescribe Software, Group Telehealth, Assisted Claims, HIPAA-Compliant Video Conferencing, Therapy Notes, and much more. TheraNest helps to streamline your Private Practice by making it easier to navigate through their website. They offer a client portal, to help your clients access their records easier, to make payments online, helps them stay in contact with you, and much more. TheraNest also offers e-prescribe, where you can manage medications, write prescriptions, and handle refills, all from inside your TheraNest account! You can easily write controlled substance prescriptions with streamlined multi-factor authentication, access automatic point-of-care tools to support clinical decisions, quickly review your client’s medication history, with 12 months of recent medications available at a glance, and much more.
TheraNest also gives you free sources for worksheets and templates to help those who have anger management or self-esteem difficulties. They also offer worksheets and templates to help with marketing research, private practice emails, and much more. These resources are offered to non-customers as well! The additional resources can be checked out here.
TheraNest pricing doesn’t differ much from the others. Starting at $39 per month/$390 per year, it includes up to 30 active clients. It also includes unlimited staff members, customer support (including live phone support), a full-featured calendar to help keep you organized, automatic email, phone, and text appointment reminders, a client portal with client self-scheduling, and much, much more. This is a monthly fee, but when you subscribe annually, you will get two months free! If you choose to take on more active clients, the price per month does increase. For instance, for 50 active clients, the price is $60 per month/$600 per year. You also have the option to add on different features such as a Wiley Practice Planner, Fully Integrated Client Portal and Telehealth. You can check out more of their features and pricing here.
What's the conclusion?
SimplePractice, TherapyNotes, and TheraNest are all great ways to go paperless while having a secure, HIPAA-Compliant program for your Private Practice. While they all offer the same services for about the same price per month, different items make them stand out from the rest. Whichever one you choose to help streamline your Private Practice, it will help your clients feel secure and at ease, not only with knowing that their Electronic Health Records stay safe and private but with your Private Practice as well. These platforms are great and are approved by therapists. Some therapists prefer one over the other, but it depends on your Private Practice and what you choose to implement for your practice, to help keep it streamlined and safe, and secure.