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Electronic Health Record (EHR) Software Review: Anasazi

Mental health and addictions professionals require tools. For a couple decades, Terry McLeod has been a trailblazer providing those tools in the form of Electronic ...Read More

It just might be the ticket to success.

I would assume professionals seeking a solo practice system probably wouldn’t want to pay the price for Anasazi software or put in the work to implement it, however for mental health and addictions treatment organizations this Electronic Health Record (EHR) might be just the ticket.

On the surface, Anasazi software looks a little more complicated to run than a number of EHRs being offered to Mental Health organizations today, and that’s a function of more robust functionality being available. It has to be robust to serve hundreds of professionals and securely manage thousands of consumer records. The software becomes less complicated as professionals’ home pages and other functionality is configured to meet the specific professional’s needs. Configuration is substantial for billing, but in the end technical professionals find it works like they’d expect, quite standard and direct, which is largely considered doing it the right way from the technical point of view. Billing and Clinical functionalities are integrated well with two different worlds of responsibility that are transparent to one another.

There was a time, I didn’t want to talk about the prescribing functionality in this software, and today medication orders are much smoother, streamlined and quicker for the prescriber to use than when I first reviewed the module a couple years ago.

In case you don’t know, state governments can be particular about reporting data about consumers. First and foremost, reporting needs to be secure, so consumer information doesn’t leak out and violate HIPAA requirements for consumer confidentiality. Next, they need everybody who’s reporting to them to be reporting the same data, and when it’s electronically reported, it needs to be in a common format. For example, in New York, the NYSCRI forms are purported to be the wave of the future and EHR manufacturers like Anasazi need to offer the forms as part of their product. Currently Anasazi offers 22 of the NYSCRI forms and as requirements and desire to use the remaining forms arise, the sales person I talked to promised they will be included into the system. This seems a sensible approach to these sometimes daunting forms. By the way, I’ve known the sales person a long time and believe what he says.

Meaningful Use incentives enable mental health and addictions facilities to recoup some (if not all) the cost of implementing the EHR. Anasazi’s approach to Meaningful Use is commendable. They began training in securing MU incentives at the last user group meeting, and they use a “launch pad” with built in reports to assure the requirements are being met to earn the incentives. The setup is where the work comes in, and after this feature is set up, the monitoring is simple enough with the reports.

When I first saw Anasazi’s WYSYWIG design tools a couple years ago, I was not impressed. The tool has matured, and has enabled a solid level of customer development of forms, drag-and-drop indexing and other features…design tools are a must for organizations who don’t want to pay for expensive programming unless absolutely necessary.

OK, you may ask, with all this praise, are there any drawbacks? Sure, nothing in this world is flawless, and it’s usually a matter of opinion. If I were seeking an EHR, I’d have my Information Technology expert ask about the “back end” architecture and the tools like middleware that come into play during the development process. This is not to say there’s anything necessarily wrong with the foundation of Anasazi, just that it’s good to be aware of what goes into building the software you’re purchasing.

There are other companies serving the sector who have more experience in Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), and since consumers receive care from multiple professionals, and since the federal government has included EDI as a requirement in proving an EHR is used meaningfully, Anasazi has focused more on this lately. I’d want to know more about their successes.

The company behind the software is of primary importance. Recently, Anasazi has bolstered its’ technical staff and has completed a number of enhancements to the software that were requested by the national user group. It sounds like Anasazi is poised to expand its share of the software market.

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