Resources: Choosing the Right EHR

APA's electronic health records (EHR) resource page will help guide you through the health information technology (HIT) process and provide information on evaluating EHR vendors, EHR educational materials and tools, software listings and reviews, and a glossary of terms.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for improvement, or to sign up for occasional email updates, please email APA’s staff at qips@psych.org.

Evaluating, Selecting, and Implementing EHRs

Psychiatric EHR Functionality Requirements
APA’s Committee on Mental Health Information Technology (CMHIT) has developed a tutorial to help you select an EHR as well as assist EHR vendors in building an optimal EHR product for psychiatry. These user and system requirements are meant to serve as a comprehensive checklist for APA members when they are evaluating EHRs. Each psychiatrist needs to decide which requirements are applicable to their practice. This tutorial is provided to help you better navigate these documents. This information is constantly evolving, and we welcome feedback to make it as complete as possible.

EHR Selection and Implementation Guidelines
This information will help guide you through the process of selecting and implementing an EHR that meets your needs.

Sample Questions to Ask Vendors
View suggested questions for vendors when looking into their EHR products.

APA Vendor Initiatives

Information regarding APA’s initiatives with vendors that are interested in developing behavioral health-friendly EHR products:

EHR Listings and Reviews

  • Certified Health IT Product List: This is the authoritative, comprehensive listing of complete EHRs and EHR modules that have been tested and certified under ONC.
  • AmericanEHR Partners: A resource for physicians (as well as state and federal agencies, vendors, and funding organizations across the United States) to access physician-rated reviews of EHR vendors. This resource provides the necessary tools to identify, implement, and effectively use EHRs and other healthcare technologies. Opening a free account is the best way to fully access the use of filters for psychiatry and to compare EHR vendors. View the registration page here.
  • EMR Consultant: EMR Consultant provides a list of EHR products. This resource is best for those who have a particular vendor name or product to search.
  • Software and Technology Vendors’ Association (SATVA): SATVA provides a helpful white paper on selecting an EHR for behavioral health-care organization executives, links to behavioral healthcare EHR vendors, and other educational information.

HIT Educational Materials and Tools

HIT Organizations

  • American Association for Technology in Psychiatry (AATP): AATP is a membership organization dedicated to the development and use of IT to improve the quality and availability of psychiatric and mental health care. AATP holds its annual meeting during the APA annual meeting.
  • American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA): AHIMA is a membership organization for health information management professionals. It provides health information management resources and hosts a free personal health record.
  • American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA): AMIA is focused on various areas of medical informatics and provides information on meetings, informatics news, and AMIA initiatives.
  • Government Health IT: This website contains materials on government and HIT issues, including news and resources on policy, technology, financing, and technical standards.
  • International Society for Mental Health Online (ISMHO): ISMHO is a nonprofit society that promotes the understanding, use, and development of online communication, information, and technology for the international mental health community. The site contains white papers, relevant news articles, and resources.
  • Physicians’ Electronic Health Record Coalition (PEHRC): PEHRC is a coalition dedicated to assisting physicians, particularly those in small and medium-size practices, to acquire and use EHRs. APA is a member of this group, and representatives attend bimonthly meetings.
  • Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS): HIMSS is A multi-disciplinary organization representing all of the major players involved in HIT, including managers, administrators, and clinicians with an increasing focus on physicians. They also work collaboratively with other professional organizations.
  • HL7 Organization: This international organization is focused on developing standards to support interoperability amongst electronic health care systems, including the storage and retrieval of this information within EHRs. These standards are intended to support the use of this information for not only clinical purposes, but for the “management, delivery and evaluation of health services”, as well.

Do you have other resources to recommend? Please let us know at qips@psych.org.