Many medical offices in the mental health and substance abuse treatment industries do not utilize behavioral health electronic records, but this can seriously inhibit primary care doctors and other physicians from providing patients with the care that they need and deserve. By keeping and exchanging these records, however, you can make a difference. These are a few reasons why your office needs behavioral health EHR software if you don't have it in use already.

1. Prevent Dangerous Medication-Related Reactions

Although patients are supposed to give a list of medications to their doctors, this doesn't always happen, or the lists aren't always kept updated. If your patients are on medication for their mental health-related issues, however, their other doctors need to know. Then, they can ensure that they don't prescribe any kind of medication that might mix poorly with their current mental health medication and cause a bad reaction. In some less common cases, sharing this information via electronic health records can actually save the lives of your patients.

2. Help With Healthcare for Other Medical Issues

Depression, anxiety and other mental health-related issues can have a major impact on other medical issues. For example, stress can cause complications for both people with asthma and people with heart disease or an elevated risk of heart disease.

Unfortunately, patients might not think to share their mental health-related issues with their doctors; they might be embarrassed to share these things or might not even realize and accept that they have these problems. By sharing electronic health records with your patients' other healthcare providers, however, you can help ensure that these doctors are able to provide your patients with the best possible care for all of their medical issues.

3. Prepare Yourself and Other Providers for Unpredictable Behavior

As you probably already know, behavioral health patients can be quite unpredictable. Many of them suffer from lash-outs and other behaviors that could be dangerous for themselves, other patients and healthcare providers. It is important for you to know what to expect when patients walk through your door, and sharing EHRs can also help prepare other healthcare professionals who aren't as accustomed to dealing with patients with these issues.

As you can see, keeping electronic health records for your patients is important if you want to protect everyone who is involved. Luckily, there are plenty of software programs, like Alphacm, out there that you can use to make keeping and sharing electronic health records a whole lot easier.