Navigating the Software Selection Process
There are so many products on the market for managing client data that it's easy to feel overwhelmed. The main categories are products designed for large hospitals, medical clinics, providers in private practice and social service organizations. One way to approach the selection is to focus on products that are specifically designed for your needs such as behavioral healthcare, psychology, case management or outcome evaluation.
Resources for Learning About Client Data Management Software
- Managing Agency and Community-change Initiative Data: Guidelines for Software Selection - United Way Publication
- Sample Functionality Scorecard- Used to evaluate software. From Techsoup.
- Open Clinical - Knowledge Management for Health Care
- Management Information System Resource Tool for Behavioral Health Providers - PDF. Excellent article written by Behavioral Health Collaborative Solutions, August 14, 2006.
- Feature List of things to look for in an EHR, including a section on behavior healthcare. Published by the AC Group, a consulting company that you can hire to assist you in finding the right software.
- Selecting and Managing IT Vendors - TechSoup article
Client Data Management Software
Many vendors have products specifically designed for behavioral healthcare and mental health providers. Features to look for include treatment plans, progress notes, and the ability to track group therapy attendance. Some of the products are designed for social service agencies and do not have a medical component. EHR/EMR products will also include the ability to do electronic prescriptions, labs, medical billing, and electronic data exchange with other providers.
Several of the products in this list are geared towards large clinics and hospitls. These are marked as Enterprise Level. Others are quite suitable for small to mid-size clinics and solo practitioners. When selecting software for managing client data you may find that Case Management products are better suited to your needs than an EHR system. Both kinds are listed below.
- Accumedic - AccuMed Behavioral Health System
- American Psychiatric Management Services - PsychNotesEMR
- Anasazi - Clinical Systems [Enterprise Level]
- Anzer IT Healthcare - Clinical Charting, Health Information, Clinical Case Management
- Askesis - PsychConsult [Enterprise Level]
- Athena Software - Penelope
- Bowman Systems - ServicePoint
- CarePaths - eRecord
- Celerity - CAM
- Client Social Services Tracker
- CompuLink - PsychAdvantage
- Core Solutions - Cx360
- Credible Wireless - Credible Behavioral Health
- Data Systems International - ClientTrack
- Defran - Evolv-CS [Enterprise Level]
- DocuTrac - Office Therapy, QuicDoc
- Echo Group - Clinician's Desktop and ShareCare [Enterprise Level]
- Empathic Clinical Suites
- Foothold Technology - AWARDS
- Global Vision Technologies - FAMCare
- Groupware Technologies - Provide Enterprise
- Harmony Information Systems - Harmony for Social Services [Enterprise Level]
- Health Care Software Inc - HCS Interactant [Enterprise Level]
- HInext - TREAT (The Roster of Electronic Assessment Tools)
- Infinity/Civerex - Civer-Psych
- InfoMC - eCura BCM
- JAG Products - Clinic Tracker
- LWSI - Essentia [Enterprise Level]
- MetaCare [Enterprise Level]
- MindlLinc at Duke University - MindLinc
- Netsmart - Avatar [Enterprise Level], Helper, Helper EMR, TheraScribe
- NextStep Solutions - NextStep PracticePro, NextStep PracticePro Plus, NextStep MS
- NextGen Healthcare - NextGen Ambulatory EHR [Enterprise Level]
- Orion Healthcare Technology - AccuCare PM System
- Practice Fusion - Psychiatry EMR
- PsyTech Solutions - EpitoMax
- Qualifacts - CareLogic [Enterprise Level]
- Raintree - Behavioral Health
- Saner Software - ShrinkRapt
- Sequest - TIER [Enterprise Level] Acquired by Netsmart in 2011.
- Sigmund Software - Sigmund EMRx
- SMART Management - SMART Software
- Smokey Mountain Information Systems - Pimsy EMR
- Social Solutions - Efforts to Outcomes (ETO)
- Streamline - SmartCare
- Synergestic Office Solutions - SOS Suite
- TheraSoft Online
- UNI/CARE Systems - Pro-Filer [Enterprise Level]
- Unicentric - Service Xpert
- Valant - Valant EMR
- Welligent - Welligent EHR
Software Selection Resources
Too many choices? Use the resources listed below to help you learn more about the products. Capterra and Software Advice also have consulting services that can guide you through the selection proecess.
- Capterra Mental Health Software Database Searchable database that can be filtered for specific features and requirements.
- SoftScout - lists of healthcare and human services software.
- Software Advice - lists of EHR software. Filter by Mental and Behavioral Health. Includes reviews.
- 2010 IT Behavioral Healthcare Vendor Survey. View the article or download the survey chart (PDF).
- 2009 IT Product/Service Snapshot - from Behavioral Healthcare Magazine
- Article: Electronic Health Record Roadmap (PDF. Dec 2007, Uni/Care)
- Article: Software Evaluation: Do You Have the Tools (PDF. 2005, Uni/Care)
- Article: Software Review Methodologies (PDF. April 2004, Uni/Care)
Outcome Measurement and Evaluation Software
Open Source Software
There are several Open Source projects that address the needs of Electronic Medical Records. The largest and most successful of these projects is the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), an enterprise-wide EHR used throughout the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical system. VistA is free and open source. Because the technical support required to install and administer VistA is quite complex, several groups have created modified versions of VistA that they service and support for a fee. More information can be found at
- US Department of Veteran Affairs - VistA CPRS (Computerized Patient Record System)
- Wikipedia VistA Page
- Making Many Systems Into One. Article on adapting VistA for Behavioral Healthcare
VistA based Open Source Software
Non-VistA Open Source Software
- Care2X - Hospital information system
- OpenMRS - Open Medical Records System. An international EHR initiative.
- Phyaura EHR
- SQL Clinic
- Ultimate EMR
Open Source Resources
Check out the next section of the toolkit: Purchasing: How to Estimate the Cost of Your System