Behavioral Health's EHR Conundrum

Tom Sullivan | Healthcare IT News | March 12, 2014

March 12, 2014-Behavioral health and long-term post-acute care are perhaps the two most significant areas left out of the meaningful use program. “When we look at the big circle of care, there’s a huge hole -- behavioral health,” said Mark Caron, CIO of Capital Blue. “Behavioral health is a mess.” And at least similar words could be used to describe the status of EHR implementation in many long-term and post-acute care settings.

"The problem is there really is no good definition” of what an EHR is particular to behavioral health and LTPAC units, said Larry Wolf, co-chair of ONC's certification and adoption workgroup and CIO of Kindred Healthcare, adding that because some health entities' EHR definitions actually pre-date the HITECH Act,  “We have shades of grey that are very important."

Open Health News' Take: 

This story is really about the inability of proprietary EHRs to come out with a usable EHR for behevioral/mental health settings. The open source VistA EHR has been proven to be extraordinarily successful in this area. Impelemtations include Central Regional Hospital in North Carolina, Silver Hill Hospital in Connecticut and many others.