Pros: Attention to Detail, CRM Functionality, Contact/Documentation Tracking, Price, Integrated outcome measures
Cons: Limited Tablet/Mobile Use, Limited Insurance claim tracking (requires use of third party portal)
Standout Features: CRM Functionality and integrated outcome measures
It’s a Good Choice For Practices That: Don’t need mobile accessibility and don’t mind waiting a bit longer for fully intergrated e-claim features.
BestNotes started out as a solution for residential treatment homes and retains a significant market share there. They’ve eventually recognized the usefulness of their tool in other environments and have expanded their marketing to include those providing outpatient therapy. What BestNotes does, it does extremely well. Features are fully realized and integrated into the rest of the system. Work flow is excellent, with multiple paths of navigation. Nathan Olsen, their CEO, told me that one of their primary goals is to allow users to accomplish tasks with the fewest amount of clicks. From what I’ve seen, they have been very successful in pulling this off.
In addition to the standard features you’d expect from Scheduling, Client Data, and Notes, BestNotes has incredible attention to detailed features that most other systems in this market do not. For example, it has extensive support for groups of therapists including the ability to easily see schedules for multiple therapists on the same screen. Clinicians can also readily attach any document as well as email and phone communication to a client record. The client record displays all communication and documentation regarding a client in chronological order.
BestNotes also functions as a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) allowing you to track things like referral sources and your contacts with them. It readily handles therapeutic groups and the notes associated with them. It provides for internal communication between clinicians as well as ToDo lists where tasks can also be associated with clients. BestNotes reporting capabilities are unrivaled among products in the same price range, allowing customized reports to be generated on virtually any data in the system. They recently raised their pricing $10 per user per month, but have also greatly improved their feature set and even fully integrated Outcome Tools for no additional cost.
What used to read as a list of missing features, now looks much more like a list of features BestNotes has integrated over the past few months:
- Billing – You can now not only generate invoices, statements and superbills but also track payments, etc. BestNotes even offers support for importing its data into third party billing systems.
- Electronic Claims Filing – You can now file e-claims in BestNotes. You’ll have to use the clearinghouse’s (UHIN) web site to track claims from there for now. BestNotes does plan to integrate this functionality sometime in the future.
- Client Portal is Less Limited – The client portal has been expanded to allow users to customize the intake forms as well as see upcoming appointment
There are still a couple of items that could create challenges for some practices:
- Missing Key Scheduling Components – There’s no user friendly way for clinicians to note when they are available for appointments. This has to be accomplished by manually “blocking out” times. There are no appointment reminders for clients. To be fair, this is missing from many of the programs in this market.
- Not Tablet Friendly – Currently BestNotes runs in a modified web browser, which means you have to install a program on a computer (available for Mac and Windows). They have an app for iOS, but it is limited in functionality.
BestNotes has expanded its feature set in many other ways as well. A short list includes things like custom templates for progress notes, diagnostic criteria accessible on treatment plans, authorization tracking, and credit card processing.
With their advances, BestNotes has become a solid contender for many practices.
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About the Author
Rob has been covering technology and business news for mental health professionals since 2011. His extensive experience in IT, business, and private practice allow him to synthesize information in a friendly, digestible manner. He also enjoys time with his family, ultimate frisbee, and board gaming.