You know that content management systems can save you time and money in the long run, making your organization more efficient and allowing you to provide a higher quality of care. Shopping for the right solution can be overwhelming and time consuming.
It’s important to find a system with features that enhance your organization. There are many low-cost or free solutions, but these often create more work and can make it difficult to change practice management tools or EHR systems down the road.
So what should your content management solution offer you? We've put together this list of 10 features you should look for in a content management system.
1. Seamless Software Integration: Integration with core practice software like Electronic Health Records (EHR) and/or patient care management platform provides a productivity and helps improve quality of care. Low cost systems tend to offer minimal integration or require many additional steps to transfer information from one application to the other, making them a drag on productivity.
2. Access from Other Applications: The client records system should be integrated so well that you can search for and view client files from within your EHR or practice management software, including the file images themselves. That way, you do not have to continuously swap between applications, which is inefficient and defeats the purpose of integration.
3. Optical Character Recognition (OCR): OCR technology reads documents as they are scanned into the file system, inputting document text and data into the system so that it can be used later to locate records. A good OCR should be capable of reading documents imported through other applications, like Microsoft Office OCR makes data entry unnecessary and makes searches more powerful and simplified.
4. Functional Search Features: Searching for documents can be one of the biggest headaches in the wrong document management software. You want a system that makes it easy to search document information and text to quickly locate what you need. Ideally, this should be done from a single search platform, kind of like your own Google search within your client files.
5. Multimedia Content Storage: Videos, emails, photos – you never know what you might need to add to a client file. Having a document management system that can not only accommodate but also index, sort, store and easily retrieve a variety of content is important when trying to maintain accurate and complete records.
6. File Importing: Considering that many client records come via email, web forms and other electronic methods, file importing can save a great deal of time. Instead of printing documents from your computer just to scan them into your document system, a file importing feature allows you to capture the electronic document from its location and file it directly into your records system.
7. Easy Retrieval. Having a document management system should make locating files simple, no matter how much information is contained in a client record. This retrieval should make it possible to search and retrieve across multiple applications and from within your practice software. You should also be able to configure standard search results to make retrieval smoother and faster.
8. Reliable Backup and Recovery. Your client files are irreplaceable. One of the reasons practices chose an electronic client file management system is to protect these records in the event of disaster. During a natural event, power outage or hardware fails, having a system with a reliable backup and recovery ensures you can recover files quickly, providing continuous care for your patients at all times.
9. Security and Compliance. Client files need to be kept secure in and compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security Rule. Your records management system should provide technology to ensure security and assist your ability to maintain compliance with HIPAA. Without this, leveraging document management systems can be more troublesome than helpful.
10. Access Controls and Audit Tools. Access controls allow you to assign permissions to different employees to perform actions such as accessing, downloading, or modifying different client files. This gives administration full control over access. The audit tools provide a paper trail on all functions and access for each file. Both of these functions protect you and help ensure HIPAA compliance. So, while there are plenty of low cost and “free” electronic content management options, it’s important to make sure that you find one that will work well with existing software, provide secure and reliable access and simplify searching and retrieving for files. By using these criteria when selecting a document management tool, your organization will see productivity gains and improved quality of care.
Milner Technologies provides fully-supported and integrated electronic content management solutions for behavioral health practices all over the country. Learn more about our behavioral health document solutions.