South Shore Mental Health

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Fragmented Systems and Workflows Hinder Organization’s Mission

Operating within a highly decentralized organizational structure encompassing 23 locations plus mobile staff, SSMH realized it needed to streamline technology across programs and services. The nonprofit behavioral health agency recognized the ability of technology to increase transparency, improve process efficiencies, and enhance information sharing to improve the quality of care. To build on the agency’s core commitment to the continuum of care, SSMH also wanted to demonstrate a robust IT capacity that would position the agency to address emerging market opportunities for collaboration and integration of services with health organizations beyond the behavioral health community.

Specifically, SSMH staff often interact with other health provider environments, so it’s important to synchronize EHR systems to support those partnerships. Proper information exchange requires dissemination of the right information, in the right place, in the right format. EHRs need to speak the same language to consume information from other systems. This can present a challenge since many healthcare providers still do not have fully functional EHRs, or are in the midst of upgrades, which inhibits their ability to share information electronically.

Before selecting and implementing an electronic health record (EHR) solution, SSMH began laying the foundation for the transition from paper to a digital system by introducing change management processes and proactively addressing other cultural adjustments within the organization. When it came time for the EHR implementation, SSMH had a strong infrastructure in place and a solid launching point to embark on the transition.