Performance Shifts in Behavioral Health

KLAS started watching vendor performance in the behavioral health EMR market 2 years ago, publishing our first report in 2018. Ordinarily, vendor performance doesn’t shift a lot from year to year (much to their customers’ chagrin), but toward the end of 2019, we noticed a fair amount of shift in what providers were sharing about their behavioral health vendors. To help providers understand the reasons behind the movement, we chose to highlight the performance shifts in the Behavioral Health EMR 2020 report.

Why the Shift?

Despite the changes in individual vendor performance, the behavioral health EMR market remains one of the lowest performing areas that KLAS watches. Some vendors, like Qualifacts, saw a marked improvement, but others, like Netsmart, performed worse. Specifics behind the changes are detailed in the report, but much of the shift ties to a vendor’s ability to keep and deliver on the promises they make to their customers.

The Provider Role

We have heard from multiple providers and vendors that healthcare is 10 years behind the rest of the world technologically and that behavioral health is 10 years behind healthcare. Limited funding means many organizations can’t afford to replace their EMR frequently, so vendors need to show more value than others when opportunities arise.

Provider organizations that already have an EMR need to keep up on what their vendor is doing. Many providers we speak with admit that they stopped paying attention to what other vendors are doing because they can’t make a change anyway. Knowing what other vendors are doing helps ensure that you can put pressure on your vendor to not only deliver on old promises but also continue to find ways to deliver even more.

Our research is a free resource for provider organizations to quickly differentiate vendors without the effort of doing an RFP. It can also be used to make sure that your experience lines up with your peers and that they want the same pain points addressed as you.

If you are a provider, are you pushing your vendor to improve? Do you know what other vendors can do?

The Vendor Role

Vendors need to leverage the learnings of those who have gone before them. There are best practices around EMRs; the information is out there from KLAS or other resources in the healthcare industry. Most provider organizations are focused on being the best in the world at delivering care, not setting up IT systems. Vendors need to have the expertise and knowledge to guide providers so that they have the most optimal experience with their EMR.

Every vendor has room for improvement, and the industry needs to see marked improvements so that these systems become tools to really aid in delivering care rather than distracting from it. Many of the issues customers are dealing with today are problems hospitals had 10 years ago, and behavioral health providers should be able to expect more.

As behavioral health vendors look for and implement best practices, we hope to see another shift in the behavioral health market—this time upward. Please check out the full report to see what you can do to bring this market back up.





     Photo credit: Adobe Stock, AntonioDiaz