CARMEL, Ind., June 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Upon joining BehaviorCorp as medical director in 1990, Dr, Jerry Sheward, M.D. recognized the glaring need for then non-existent electronic medical records (EMR) to enable the multi-location behavior health care organization to optimize the services it provided to adults and children in the Indianapolis area and across Central Indiana. The practice's UNIX-based practice management (PM) solution, apart from residing on a reliable but closed operating system, was not user friendly, and therefore didn't provide what Dr. Sheward and his colleagues viewed as the right platform for EMR solutions to come.
Compounding these challenges was the fact that the system did not address specific requirements of psychiatric practices and offices, which, unlike general and other specialty practices, in addition to Joint Commission accreditation also must adhere to the strict requirements of a myriad of other governmental and regulatory agencies. While Dr. Sheward identified seven psychiatric practice-centric management systems by the 2000-2001 timeframe, including solutions from NextGen and A4, among others, he found them still too heavily geared toward general medical practices.
Testing a variety of these, BehaviorCorp in 2002 chose MedInformatix Inc.'s Practice Management solution for its new office platform, adding clinical functionality the following year working in lock step with the vendor to develop custom features for a psychiatric practice.
"The Joint Commission, Indiana, Medicare, Medicaid and other agencies each have regulations as they relate to behavioral health practices covering patient treatments and outcomes. The fact that we provide treatment planning; outpatient, residential and group home services; foster care assistance; and, substance abuse treatment to 12,000 patients each year demanded a customized solution," said Dr. Sheward, now vice president and chief medical officer of Carmel-based Aspir