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All right, y’all welcome back. Glad to be back with you, of course. And I am excited to be talking about one of my favorite things today, which is EHR’s.
Today is the kickoff episode in a 4-6 part series. I’m not quite sure yet how many I’m going to do, but at least four, no more than six episodes where I review different EHR [00:01:00] systems specifically looking through the lens of testing psychologists. I get tons of questions about EHR’s in my coaching and in the Facebook group. There are a lot of questions about which EHRs people use, how to use them, which ones are best, all those sorts of things. I would like to dedicate a few weeks to diving into different EHRs and really show you what those might look like, and hopefully save you some time from doing all the free trials and having to take the time to do that yourself.
Now, these are meant to be relatively basic overviews of the EHR’s. And the process that I go through is to really start at the beginning. So, I create a new account, sign up for the EHR, and then start the review upon moment one of logging in to the EHR. You might say to yourself, how [00:02:00] am I going to understand these reviews without being able to see them?
And the answer to that is that there are accompanying YouTube videos for each of the EHR reviews that I’m going to do. And I have a link to those videos in the show notes for each episode. And I highly encourage you to go to the link and watch the video so that it can really come alive for you.
In the podcast episode here, I’m really going to hit the high points and give you a relatively superficial overview with the assumption that if it sounds interesting to you, and you’re curious about that EHR, then you will go and watch the YouTube videos which end up being about 30 to 40 minutes long walkthrough.
Let’s see. A number of basic tasks. Let’s talk about pricing, adding clients or creating clients, creating appointments, adding service [00:03:00] codes, and then really diving into testing specific things like how to create testing appointments- how easy is that? Inputting insurance information and billing insurance, creating service codes specific to testing, writing a testing note. All those things are pieces that I cover in these videos.
With all that said, I want to introduce the star of our show today, TherapyNotes. Many of you know that I have worked with TherapyNotes for years, and I really love TherapyNotes. I am absolutely partial to TherapyNotes. So, I am doing this review first because I am most familiar with TherapyNotes. And I want to put it out there just as at least at this point, my favorite and let you all, of course, decide for yourselves. But TherapyNotes is what we’re going to be talking about today. There are, like I said, links to [00:04:00] the YouTube video review and a link to sign up for TherapyNotes in the show notes.
With all of that said, let’s get to my review of TherapyNotes as an EHR for testing psychologists.
Okay. We are back in, ready to dive into TherapyNotes. Like I mentioned in the introduction, I’m going to be really just touching on different pros and cons from my review. The full review is in the YouTube video and goes into a lot more depth, but I want to hit the high points here.
These review podcasts will be relatively short episodes and really meant to pique your interest and help you figure out [00:05:00] if you would like to look further into a trial and begin the EHR for yourself.
So, let’s start with the things that went pretty well. Actually, let me just do a general overview of TherapyNotes.
TherapyNotes is an EHR. It has been around for a long time. I would consider it one of the OG EHRs that are web-based. There are certainly EHR that are out there that were locked to a specific computer. They were not web-based in the past. But TherapyNotes was one of the first ones to take the platform to the web so that you could use it on any device. That sounds fairly commonplace right now, in this day and time, but when I started looking for EHRs, this was a big deal to find one that was web-based that I wouldn’t have to install on all of my devices and be locked to that device.
TherapyNotes has been around for a [00:06:00] long time. I think they’re going on at least 9 or 10 years now. And they have a pretty solid operation. Like I said, I have a good relationship with therapy notes and really appreciate their staff. So that’s of course, influencing my review. I do have an affiliate link with TherapyNotes as well. That’s the link in the show notes. So I want to disclose that. But hopefully, I’m being as transparent as possible. I do love TherapyNotes, but we’ll be, of course, reviewing all the options out there knowing that different EHRs are fit for different folks.
Okay. All of that said, let’s jump into the things that I found went really well with TherapyNotes. When we consider an EHR, I think there are a few things that are just basic that you’re going to be able to count on. An EHR should have a calendaring system to keep [00:07:00] your appointments, it should do billing for you so you can either submit insurance claims or just collect payments, it should have some system to remind you to write your notes so a to-do list of sorts. Any EHR you find is going to have those basic features.
I want to dive into some of the things that go beyond that, that really to me, improve the experience of using TherapyNotes.
The first thing, and I’ll be the first to admit that I am shallow in this regard, but I really liked the way that TherapyNtes looks. It’s very aesthetically pleasing to me. It is laid out very clearly, it is easy to navigate, I like the colors and those simple things go a long way. They go a long way. I tried many EHRs back when I was initially [00:08:00] considering which one to go with. And a lot of them are just kind of ugly. And that makes a big difference to me or I didn’t like the way they had a little bit of lag in certain functions. Just little things like that go a long way. That’s one of the first things that I picked up on when I went back and revisited TherapyNotes as if I was a new client. It’s very aesthetically pleasing. Even little things like the font are big enough to read on a normal-sized screen. I don’t have to squint. The aesthetic side of things, I think is certainly a strength for TherapyNotes. It does operate very smoothly so there is no lag. There are no jitters or jitters when moving through operations and click on links. I like that. And again, it’s easy to navigate. I think they did a great job laying out the menu. The [00:09:00] important things that we might need from day to day, and then they took the setting menu off to the side away from the main menu and that’s easy to navigate as well.
Another thing I like about TherapyNotes is that right when you log in, they have a to-do list that sort of walks you through how to get your practice set up with a number of to-do items. That was very helpful.
Now, in terms of testing specific issues, I really love the testing note template from TherapyNotes. And what I love about it is it’s great right out of the box, by which I mean you schedule a testing appointment and the note, the prompt rather the pops up on your to-do list to write the testing note takes you to a note template that they’ve created. You cannot modify it, so keep that in mind. But the note template that they created is really well suited for [00:10:00] testing. It has boxes to include the time that you spent on the test and you can list each test that you used. It has a button to total the amount of time so you can see very easily how much time you spend on the notes or on the appointment. All those little features were fantastic.
It does do a little thing where once you input the test once in the testing note, then it saves it in the system, and then it’ll auto-populate the next time you write a testing note. So you don’t have to type out WISC-V or whatever it is. Those they store in the system and you can choose them almost from a dropdown menu once you’ve input them once. So testing the note template was great.
Another thing I like is that insurance claim submission [00:11:00] is really easy. It’s really just a couple of steps from the very beginning. You have to input the panels that you’re credentialed with. They have a repository that is again, a pop-up where you just enter the panel name and it searches automatically and you can choose the one you want. So you put in the payer, you put in the client’s insurance information, and then after the appointment, it is literally two button clicks where you just click ready to submit. That’s not the exact language, but that’s what we’re going for here and you click ready to submit, and then you click submit the claim and that’s it. It’s very easy.
The other piece that I really liked that stood out, and this is not all the pros of course, but these are just the things that I took note of. The other piece is that inputting service codes from the beginning are relatively easy. And the way that they handle [00:12:00] base codes versus add-on is easier to navigate than other EHRs that I have tried. This became particularly important, of course, in 2019, when we moved to this whole base code ad-on mess. We still call it a mess? Yes. Inputting add-on codes and base codes is relatively easy. That’s one of those features particularly for Testing Psychologists that I think is a real asset.
All right. Like I said, not all the pros are all the good things by any means. And in fact, I will mention one more just because it is top of mine and I just thought of it is that the support from TherapyNotes is fantastic. They have real people providing live support. You call, you talk to someone, you email, you get a reply back very quickly. I’ve spent probably hours at this point on the phone with TherapyNotes support, and they help you [00:13:00] really well. And they pick up, which is nice. Some companies or EHRs only do email support or have limited phone support. And that’s not the case with TherapyNotes. Their support is amazing.
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All right, let’s get back to the podcast.
Okay, let’s move on to some things that could be better about TherapyNotes.
I think the biggest complaint that I’ve heard about TherapyNotes, and I would certainly agree with this, is that the client portal could be better. There are EHRs out there that have a more fully functional client portal. At this point, TherapyNotes has a relatively limited set of forms that are pre-populated templates that they include in the client portal that you can send to the client. And my understanding is that you are limited to uploading custom forms. But they can only be forms that need a signature. You can’t upload like a fillable [00:15:00] PDF or anything like that. You can upload your own informed consent or other documents that just need a signature and you can send those to clients through the portal, but otherwise, you’re pretty limited.
The other piece of the client portal that I wish was in place is that they had a way for clients to log into the client portal and pay their own bills. That would be amazing because right now we have an external system set up for that. And I would love to just bring it all under the TherapyNotes umbrella.
Another thing that is very little but again, contributes to the user experience is once you schedule an appointment on your calendar, I personally am used to the Google calendar ecosystem where you can click and drag appointments around on the calendar. You can’t do that in TherapyNotes. That’s a really small thing, but something that I noticed. I’ve gotten used to [00:16:00] it now but in the beginning, I really wanted to click and drag on appointments to change the time rather than having to click into the appointment and kind of manually change it by typing in the new time.
The other big downside. This is not a big downside. Forget I said that, but I guess I would call it an annoyance, is the process of defining units and how to bill for base codes and ad-ons is a little bit complicated. I found that I’ve had to talk my coaching clients through this process more so than some other processes in TherapyNotes. It will make more sense in the video review but suffice it to say that it’s easy to add base codes and add-on codes and delineate them as such but when it comes to how to tell the system how to bill for each of those codes, it’s a little bit more [00:17:00] complicated. You just have to make sure that you specify for example, that you only will ever bill for one unit of the base code but then you have to define the amount of time that constitutes a unit for the add-on codes and just make sure that all that’s straight.
Related to that in the appointments, when you create a testing appointment and write the note, the note does not auto-calculate or auto-populate the ad-on code that goes with the particular base code. You have to manually choose that. That leads to some trouble in our practice. People just overlooking the right add-on code. It also does not auto calculate the units even though it totals the time for you.
Those are just little improvements that could happen. But all in all, like I said, we’re married to TherapyNotes. I really enjoy it. I think it’s a great [00:18:00] EHR. It fits all of our needs and we have a very testing heavy practice. The fact that we’ve kept TherapyNotes all these years says a lot.
Okay. So that is a quick and dirty version of TherapyNotes as an EHR for Testing Psychologists. Like I said, to get the full story, definitely check out the YouTube video in the show notes and dive in for yourself. And you can sign up for TherapyNotes. I do have an affiliate link like I said, that will give you an extra month on your free trial. So you get two free months and that is in the show notes as well.
And yes, stay tuned. This is part one of a 4 to 6 part series of the EHRs. I’m going to be reviewing the big ones, so SimplePractice, TherapyAppointment, FairNest. I’m going to look at IntakeQ, and I think I’m going to [00:19:00] do one of the smaller ones that I’ve heard really good things about which is called Jane. We’ve got quite a few reviews coming up and they will all be on the Testing Psychologist YouTube channel as well.
Now, if you’re an advanced practice owner and you would like some support and accountability to reach those goals that you have maybe set and not reached in your practice, I would invite you to consider the advanced practice mastermind group. As of the time of this recording, we have one spot left. The group will start on January 7th, 2021, and continue through early May of 2021. And this group is for those advanced practice owners who’ve gotten past the beginning stages and now are really thinking about how to stop trading time for money, how to streamline your systems, how to bring on or train or really maximize an admin person or hire another clinician or really [00:20:00] just grow your practice beyond that beginner stage.
So if that sounds like you, and you’d like the accountability of being in a group with five other psychologists, there is one spot left. You can go to testingpsychologists.com/advanced, and get more information about that and book your free group call to see if it’s a good fit.
Okay. Y’all thanks as always for listening. This has been quite a ride. 2020 is almost over but we’re getting there and I really appreciate y’all tuning in and making the testing psychologist part of your experience this year.
As always, take care and I’ll talk to you on Monday.[00:21:00] The information contained in this podcast and on The Testing Psychologists website are intended for informational and educational purposes, only nothing in this podcast or on the website is intended to be a substitute for professional, psychological, psychiatric, or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Please note that no doctor-patient relationship is formed here. And similarly, no supervisory or consultative relationship is formed between the host or guests of this podcast and listeners of this podcast. If you need the qualified advice of any mental health practitioner or medical provider, please seek one in your area. Similarly, if you need supervision on clinical matters, please find a supervisor with expertise that fits your needs.