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Behavioral Health 2018
A First Look at Behavioral Health EHR Performance

author - Paul Hess
Paul Hess
author - Jonathan Christensen
Jonathan Christensen
October 5, 2018 | Read Time: 5  minutes

The behavioral health EHR market segment is one of the lowest performing that KLAS measures (2nd percentile). While vendor performance is low across the board, most frustrated customers plan to stay with their behavioral health vendor due to limited resources and a lack of compelling alternatives. This report, KLAS’ first on behavioral health EHRs, is intended to give executives at behavioral health organizations a high-level overview of the market and to shine a spotlight on where vendors can improve. Specifically, this report dives into the behavioral health vendors used most frequently (in both inpatient and outpatient settings) and their performance in product quality, development, and service and support.


Credible Leading an Underperforming Group; Valant Strong in Private Practices

In an underperforming segment with wide variation, Credible and Valant manage to give their customers a more consistent experience. Of the vendors used broadly in both outpatient and inpatient settings, Credible is most consistent thanks to their stronger implementation and training process, which has helped most customers find success with the easy-to-use, cloud-based system. Valant, whose customers are mostly private practices, also has an easy-to-use product, which was designed by a licensed psychiatrist. Valant’s multi-pronged approach to training (which includes a train-the-trainer program as well as online tools, such as webinars and blogs) helps private practices feel they get good value for their money.

overall score distribution
low performance vendors 2

Product Development Mixed: Valant, Welligent Delivering on Promises; Credible, Qualifacts Struggling

Like Core Solutions and Harris, most behavioral health vendors have been slower to develop than customers would like or have failed to keep development promises. Missed development timelines are referenced by almost all customers who say their vendor hasn’t kept promises. Even Credible, the overall top-performing behavioral health vendor, has overcommitted on timelines, specifically for new treatment-planning and state-reporting functionality. Qualifacts customers say the executive team is approachable but that follow-through and resolutions for system performance issues, support tickets, and enhancement requests significantly miss promised time frames. Valant customers do not feel their vendor overcommits; however, development of Valant EHR has slowed as Valant has worked on a new platform. Customers of Welligent, a small vendor whose interviewed customers are mostly on the West Coast, report increasingly stretched support resources and slow development as Welligent expands. Despite the vendor’s growing pains, respondents report strong relationships and high trust that Welligent will keep commitments.

keeps all promises vs delivery of new technology

Core Solutions and Harris Healthcare Implementations Challenging

The low overall performance of Core Solutions and Harris Healthcare (who acquired CoCENTRIX in 2016) stems from painful implementations. Harris’ CoCENTRIX Pro-Filer system was traditionally used in outpatient settings; prior to the acquisition, CoCENTRIX began marketing a new platform for inpatient and outpatient settings (CoCENTRIXccp) and oversold on its inpatient functionality. Implementations have been drawn out as customers wait for expected functionality to be delivered. Many of the largest CoCENTRIXccp customers feel they are helping to develop the product. Those who have invested in customizing the system are somewhat more satisfied.

Core Solutions, whose offering is less expensive than other vendors’, has struggled to hit development and implementation timelines. Customers report lacking functionality throughout the implementation and build process. Resolution of these issues has taken much longer than expected, often extending months after the go-live. Both Core Solutions and Harris Healthcare customers feel stuck, though few respondents are leaving for other platforms, instead hoping their vendors can make the necessary improvements.

variability in overall score

Of Health System EHR Vendors, Cerner Most Experienced

Cerner is the most mature of the enterprise health system EHR vendors when it comes to behavioral health. Cerner has been developing their go-forward Millennium platform and incorporating learnings and content from their acquired Anasazi product (renamed Community Behavioral Health). Overall customer satisfaction with the two products is comparable. In regard to Millennium, health system clients report higher satisfaction; relatively strong support and previously unattainable benefits, like integration across service lines, make up for product inadequacies mentioned by some behavioral health–specific Millennium customers.

ehr vendors behavioral health maturity

MEDITECH has customers live with their integrated behavioral health solution, though adoption is light to date. Epic recently released a behavioral health–specific module, but no customers were yet live at the time of this research. Several of Epic’s inpatient EHR customers say they would have to pay an additional fee for the behavioral health module. Allscripts has no specific platform for behavioral health and recently sold their stake in Netsmart, making them the only EHR vendor—among those in use at large health systems—with no behavioral health–specific solution.

ehr in use

Vendor Bottom Lines

Cerner Community Behavioral Health: Originally Anasazi; purchased by Cerner in 2012. Older, stable product that is highly customizable. Strong state reporting. Development slow—migrations to go-forward Millennium just starting.

Core Solutions: Less expensive solution. Wide variation in customers’ experiences. Painful, drawn-out implementations, including missed timelines & ongoing product issues. Good access to executives, poor follow-through.

Credible: Stable, easy-to-use, cloud-based system can be used offline. Standard, streamlined implementations. Robust training. Struggles to keep development commitments, specifically for treatment planning and state reporting.

Harris Healthcare CoCENTRIXccp: Acquired in 2016 from CoCENTRIX, who had oversold solution’s inpatient capabilities to customers. Harris making development efforts. Prolonged stabilization period after go-live; slow development of missing functionality. Customers feel stuck.

Harris Healthcare CoCENTRIX Pro-Filer: Legacy CoCENTRIX platform. High customization leads to better success. System not easy to use. Declining support and resources. Many not energized to migrate to CoCENTRIXccp; in “wait-and-see” mode.

Netsmart: Largest behavioral health–specific vendor. Broad geographical spread, grown through acquisitions. Solid, older product, no major problems, somewhat clunky. Plans to integrate with health exchanges (e.g., Carequality). Stronger for larger clients; support weaker for smaller outpatient clients.

Qualifacts: Easy-to-use, cloud-based solution. Good executive relationships, strong road map. System stability issues. Lowest-rated vendor for keeping promises, specifically around development. Weaker reporting, financial functionality.

Valant: Outpatient only. Easy-to-use content, high value. Exceptional training, strong support. Slower development. Few live on newer platform (The Valant Platform).

Welligent: Interviewed customers primarily on the West Coast. Started in schools, expanded to traditional mental health. Strong partnerships, trust in vendor. Smaller company experiencing growing pains (support and development resources strained). Struggles with reporting.

author - Amanda Wind Smith
Amanda Wind Smith
author - Natalie Jamison
Natalie Jamison
author - Robert Ellis
Project Manager
Robert Ellis
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This material is copyrighted. Any organization gaining unauthorized access to this report will be liable to compensate KLAS for the full retail price. Please see the KLAS DATA USE POLICY for information regarding use of this report. © 2024 KLAS Research, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: Performance scores may change significantly when including newly interviewed provider organizations, especially when added to a smaller sample size like in emerging markets with a small number of live clients. The findings presented are not meant to be conclusive data for an entire client base.