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by Gaby Loria,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: November 25, 2015

Unlike a generic electronic medical/health record software solution, EMRs for substance abuse treatment centers have unique features and capabilities designed specifically for those involved in addiction rehabilitation. Substance abuse software will offer charting templates for managing clinical records related to specific drug and alcohol abuse treatment in addition to other treatment center demands. Also, EMRs for substance abuse centers often have e-prescribing to electronically generate prescriptions, and a laboratory request interface to track patient lab results.

What Is Substance Abuse EMR Software?

When selecting a substance abuse treatment EMR, consider other features that will improve the clinic’s efficiency and quality of care. For example, if your facility provides group counseling sessions, your EMR should have scheduling and patient records capabilities that can handle multiple patients simultaneously. An inpatient facility will have needs that an outpatient facility does not, and vice versa. Many substance abuse EMRs have a feature that allows collaboration and sharing of clinical data between agencies. And financing sources can vary widely in substance abuse centers, so ensure that the system can support your typical payers and billing processes.

Common Features of Substance Abuse EMR Software

Substance abuse workflow management Carry the individual through the entire continuum of care, from first inquiry through admission, treatment, therapies and any medications prescribed, and finally discharge and follow-up/outpatient care.
Notes management for individuals or groups Substance abuse counselors may need to access their old notes quickly to review previous sessions. They may need to access multiple patient records simultaneously, or they may only deal with patients one-on-one. Take your treatment plan into account when considering your EMR.
Substance abuse EMR templates The EMR should facilitate the workflow through templates that are targeted to each specific condition. For example: alcoholism, narcotics, prescription painkillers, infection management and so on.
Sale and/or reimbursement management Some substance abuse treatment centers bill insurance companies, others are funded exclusively through public or private charities, while still others are financed by the patients themselves. Consider your primary funding sources to ensure you get the payment systems you need, and not the ones you don’t.

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