2000 Powers Ferry Rd., SE Suite 535AtlantaGeorgia30067United States View Map


$1 Million



SIC Codes:



(678) 419-0070


We are the only organization in the world to be awarded both the Codman Award for Excellence in Performance Measurement and the Davies Award of Excellence. The Center offers a complete range of outpatient counseling and therapy, psychiatric, 24-hour emergency, vocational, and residential services. For those unfamiliar with the behavioral health care business, the types of problems we treat can seem foreign. In fact, the problems themselves aren't so different compared to traditional medical patients. The reader might find it helpful to conceptualize our client continuum in three categories: Acute, Chronic, and Addictions. The Center has built a large continuum of residential services, mainly for clients suffering from some form of serious mental illness such as schizophrenia. Because their levels of impairment vary, we built a wide range of residential facilities ranging from an acute stabilization unit, through group homes with 24-hour oversight, to apartment complexes for those who need little assistance. These facilities must be linked into the EHR since there is often clinical staff on site. Many of our services can be provided to a group of clients simultaneously. This is different from most medical procedures and it causes challenges in an EHR, especially for programs that have multiple groups each day. The clients attending each group will differ, as will the clinicians running the group. For billing and productivity needs we must bill only for those clients in a particular group; chart their participation; accurately give credit to the clinicians who ran the group; while simultaneously making the charting and billing process as easy as possible. The Center is a private, non-profit organization with a fully functional Electronic Health Records system. The EHR is a dynamic project that is being continually enhanced. We brought up the EHR core application (PsychConsult) in July 2003 and waited a year before adding enhancements. This allowed the core application and workflow with in the organization to stabilize. It is likely that some enhancement or improvement project will always be underway We see this as a normal progression in an organization committed to continuous improvement. The following goals were in mind when we sought to implement our EHR: HIPAA Compliance Ubiquitous Access of Clinical Records No Paper Anywhere Development of a Centralized Outcomes Repository Improved Security of the Clinical Record EHR Technology Implementation began shortly after developing the first local area network and moving the organization to a client server environment Naturally there was a significant investment in hardware and software upgrades and computer purchases during this time. Confidentiality requirements for behavioral healthcare have traditionally been much more stringent than that for the medical arena. This has changed somewhat with HIPAA . n fact HIPAA that was the "final straw" that led us to implement our electronic health record. However, we soon learned that the confidentiality requirements in HIPAA did not substantively change our day-to-day activities. In fact, in most cases state law was more stringent than HIPAA. The one significantly different area supporting our decision for the EHR was the management of access to the clinical record. HIPAA regulations in this regard are much more onerous than we previously faced and we did not believe we could meet this requirement using a paper record. While HIPAA was not the major confidentiality change we expected, it was the appropriate impetus to move us to an electronic health record. The next significant decision was to move away from the departmental processor. The architectural criteria required that the system function in a client server environment be compatible with Microsoft Windows applications. Once the pool of potential software products was culled to meet the designated architectural criteria, the review of necessary clinical and business functionality began OptiDoc™, an image scanning and archiving product was added to our system. TheOptiDoc™ application replaced our original scanning solution that was found to be unworkable. When we went live, we wanted the scanned documents to be available in the core application itself. The only way to do this was to scan the documents into Microsoft Word documents and then attach the Word document with an embedded image. Not surprisingly, our database grew much faster than we originally planned and we had to find another solution. Now the scanned documents reside in a separate discreet database which is accessible to the clinical staff. Approximately ten staff received two hours of OptiDoc™ advanced training in this product which includes scanning, indexing, and categorization of document templates. All other users require only 30 minute training on how to search the database and view (and if necessary, print) documents. OptiDoc™ enabled us to automate previously manual systems such as filing, copying, and distributing paper versions of documents. We have the ability to restrict access to particular records within OptiDoc™ to all but a few people. These records are for cases requiring high security including those of our own employees who are seen by someone within the organization. The Center currently has 281 employees. Of these 259 (92%) are EHR users. The EHR is the client record utilized by 100% of clinical staff. There is no other form of the client health record.

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