Behavioral Healthcare recently surveyed information technology vendors in the mental health and substance use markets about their products and services. We wanted to know more than just if they offer particular features, so we asked vendors to indicate if they are included in their core products; offered, but not included in their core products; or available through a third party. This information may be useful to your organization as it makes IT purchasing decisions, but because vendors continuously update their products and services, check with them for the most up-to-date details. We aim to present more information later this year.
We also asked vendors to share with us their news and plans for the coming year. Below, we profile what four companies have in the works.
Richard L. Doucet, MA
The Community Reach Center had a “painful” experience with an off-the-shelf electronic medical record (EMR) product. “When we first went to an electronic record in 2001, when we ‘flipped the switch,’ we broke it,” says Richard L. Doucet, MA, CEO of the Denver-area behavioral healthcare organization. Thus, the Center decided to develop its own EMR software. This month it is converting all of its operations to the new program, named Cync, and the Center plans on marketing it to other providers.
“The intention was not to get into the IT business, but to develop something for ourselves and then start selling it,” Doucet explains, adding, “We will not deliver a product until we are comfortable that it is rock solid.”
The software includes a full EMR along with billing, accounts receivable, scheduling, intake, and call-center functionalities. Doucet and Project Manager Dewayne Wilfong point out that the software was developed with clinicians' input and by Center programmers who understand the clinical process.
Developing the software also was part of the Center's plan to diversify its revenue stream. Says Doucet: “Our goal as a center is to be less than 50% dependent on the state and feds for our revenues. In order to do that, we have to develop nontraditional revenue streams, and this is one of them.”
For more on the Center's decision to create its own software, visithttp://behavioral.net/doucet0907.
William R. Connors, MSW
Sequest Technologies President/CEO William R. Connors, MSW, has big plans for his software company and its customers. This past July, Connors led a management buyout of the company's founder and brought in private equity partners. With new resources at hand, Connors aims to grow Sequest's market presence. In fact, the company just signed Betty Ford Center and Gateway Rehabilitation Center as new clients.
To guide Sequest's growth, Connors recruited a board of directors, which includes the CEO of a large health and human services organization that is a Sequest customer. In addition, Sequest created a market advisory board that counts Ronald J. Hunsicker, DMin, president/CEO of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, among its members. “We're building out an idea that the company will be extremely closely aligned and partnered with our markets that we serve,” Connors explains, noting that Sequest provides software for the wide range of human service providers.
Sequest customers can expect the company to provide them with additional resources. Clients are being assigned account managers, and Sequest aims to offer its user group online social networking opportunities. “We really want to join with that peer-to-peer market mentality and partner with them,” notes Connors.
A research focus
Darrin Hanna, PhD