The Evolution of EHRs


Can EHRs Evolve from Work Horses to Thoroughbreds?

Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems are the workhorses of Behavioral Health and Human Services provider organizations, yet they are often viewed by users as necessary evils. The best of the new EHRs, however, have the potential to help providers transform their organizations and the care they provide.

Yesterday’s EHRs: Designed with Everyone Except the User in Mind

To say that many users, and clinicians in particular, do not like traditional EHRs is an understatement, and one study found that EHRs are a significant source of clinician burnout in the medical field

The EHRs of an earlier generation faced a number of challenges, including the limitations of computer system technology at that time to deal with the complexities of providing, and getting reimbursed for, the delivery of behavioral healthcare services.

Further complicating the situation was the Meaningful Use requirements that grew out of the HITECH Act of 2009. HITECH government financial incentives spurred EHR adoption, but the associated Meaningful Use requirements and compliance deadlines put additional pressure on provider organizations and their EHR vendors.

As a result, EHRs were developed to meet the requirements of IT developers, payers, regulators—in short, everyone but the users of EHRs and the clients they serve.

Today’s Best EHRs: User Focused, Cloud Hosted, and Data Driven

More than a decade on from HITECH, the best of today’s EHRs have the potential to be transformative for Behavioral Health and Human Services provider organizations. 

Streamline Healthcare Solutions launched its SmartCare™ EHR almost 20 years ago. SmartCare™ was designed specifically for Behavioral Health and Human Services organizations; unlike EHRs built primarily for other types of services, SmartCare™ is hard-wired for behavioral health requirements, processes, and metrics.  As a result, SmartCare™  has always been easier to use than many EHRs. 

In 2022, Streamline took usability to the next level with the launch of the new R6 user experience.  R6 empowers each user to individualize SmartCare™ to their preferences so they have the information that is most relevant to them at their fingertips; its processes and workflows intuitively mirror how users serve their clients in the real world, and it even provides intelligent contextual insights on options and next steps for users based on what they are trying to accomplish.

Streamline saw the benefits of cloud computing and migrated SmartCare™ hosting to the Microsoft Azure Cloud, which provides EHR customers with high levels of availability and security.

Finally, Streamline designed SmartCare™ so Behavioral Health and Human Services organizations can take advantage of the opportunities for future growth and improvement. Among other things, as an enterprise, single-platform EHR, SmartCare™ enables organizations to take a more comprehensive, seamless approach to operations, care, and analytics, making it ideal for sophisticated strategies such as whole-person care.

SmartCare™ also offers customers integrated Business Intelligence functionality that combines a robust data warehouse, intuitive yet flexible native reporting, and integration with leading BI software to enable organizations to take advantage of value-based reimbursement and the tremendous promise in areas such as evidence-based practices.

The SmartCare™ EHR Platform: Individualized, Intelligent and Intuitive

Streamline’s SmartCare™ is an enterprise, cloud-based, single-platform, and intelligent Electronic Health Record (EHR) platform designed specifically for Behavioral Health and Human Services organizations. To learn more, visit or request a demo.