Customized Registries in Electronic Health Records
Using a population-based approach to health care helps ensure that no patient falls through the cracks. Employing a technology tool that tracks clinical outcomes for populations of patients and supports systematic changes in treatment for patients who are not improving as expected is an essential piece of all successful collaborative care implementations.
There are several options available for effectively tracking patients: 1) a patient tracking spreadsheet, 2) AIMS Depression Tracker, 3) the AIMS Center’s Care Management Tracking System (CMTS), and 4) a customized build in an Electronic Health Record (EHR).
Organizations planning to build a customized EHR behavioral health registry in their Collaborative Care implementation should ensure that it meets all of the functional requirements needed to support Collaborative Care work flows. A customized EHR registry with adequate reporting and behavioral health templates has the potential to be a powerful tool. Although most EHR’s can use queries or filter functions to cue clinical activities or create specified patient lists, most have limited functionality in this regard and need extensive--and oftentimes costly--customization.
Customizing an existing EHR to include population-tracking functionalities is appealing to many organizations because it allows providers to work in a familiar tool and allows for documentation in a single system. A customized EHR registry has the potential to support the principle of population-based care for effective integrated care that can result in better clinical outcomes, higher patient satisfaction, and lower healthcare costs.