Operational Efficiency in Behavioral Health: How to Drive Quality

Team discussing operational efficiency

Delivering cost-effective, high-quality products and services to customers is the definition of operational efficiency. In health care, this means ensuring that patients receive the best care possible while optimizing the operational costs of healthcare systems. 

To achieve operational efficiency, healthcare leaders must look to improve inefficiencies in all areas, from maximizing the design and planning of day-to-day workflows and business processes to choosing the right healthcare IT methodology and everything in between. 

Fostering a culture of continual improvement can also go a long way toward achieving and even exceeding goals in an organization. What's more, electronic health record (EHR), human capital management (HCM), and patient engagement (PE) software can help. Let's review the specific features of these technologies that can help organizations improve patient outcomes and save time and money.

Finding Operational Efficiency in Cloud-Based Applications

The cloud is playing an increasingly central role in helping healthcare businesses achieve operational efficiency. Cloud-based infrastructure provides a real opportunity to scale healthcare operations while lowering additional costs. 

Using cloud-based platforms, data can be exchanged without compromising privacy or security. In addition to integrating and using data from diverse sources more easily, cloud-based platforms can help healthcare providers and payers manage complex siloed systems more easily. A cloud-based system is essential for integrating behavioral health into healthcare systems and overcoming the challenges of interoperability. And cloud-based EHRs are always current with automatic updates without the need to download software or manage hardware.

How an EHR Solution Can Help With Operational Efficiency

Elderly woman happily using a tablet

A unified EHR solution assists in improving the operational efficiency of the practitioner. The use of EHRs can help improve clinical documentation that ensures reimbursements are processed properly. A health information exchange helps medical practitioners identify patterns, diagnose more accurately, and prescribe treatments more effectively. Last but not least, workflow optimization reduces stress on team members and saves time for patients as well.

Clinical Documentation

As value-based care continues to connect payments to quality of care, you can ensure that sufficient clinical documentation is available to support higher acuity charges. For instance, ContinuumCloud’s robust EHR software can help you quickly determine which level of documentation is needed for each patient appointment — whether your team members are in the office or out in the field. The intuitive EHR provides common order sets, therapy note templates, and any needed e-prescribing data ahead of time.

Clinical Decision Support

There are several ways an EHR can help with clinical decision-making and improve operational efficiency. By focusing on continuous improvement and benchmarking metrics, data can be used to support improved workflows and business processes. Aside from improving information flow and access to knowledge, EHRs can perform checks in real time and help with monitoring. 

Reducing human error in prescribing is one way that computer-based decision support systems help deliver high-quality care by improving patient safety. If human errors are detected, doses can be automatically adjusted and alerts sent to staff.

Decision support is crucial to interpret, diagnose, and treat patients receiving behavioral health care. Clinical decision support software will continue to play a crucial role in delivering quality care and ContinuumCloud’s EHR solution is designed specifically with behavioral health and human services in mind.

Workflow Optimizations

In healthcare administration, workflow optimizations improve resource utilization, achieve efficient scheduling, streamline communications, and lower costs. ContinuumCloud's EHR solution features a number of workflow optimizations, but here are four that help improve operational efficiency.

Automated contactless registration and intake

The manual registration process requires patients to fill out paperwork and forms by hand. Not only is this time-consuming (thus negatively impacting the patient experience), but it also increases the opportunity for errors. Plus, manual registration methods are inefficient for a company’s administrative team. 

A patient portal powered by ContinuumCloud can help behavioral health organizations register patients more quickly. In addition, there's a contactless workflow option that allows clients to complete paperwork and check-in themselves.

Automated appointment reminders

Behavioral health practices can lose revenue due to no-shows, and staffing needs cannot be determined without an accurate patient count. In the worst-case scenario, patients fail to show up for scheduled appointments, causing their treatments to be delayed, resulting in negative outcomes for patients. 

poll of healthcare leaders from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) found that 88% are using appointment reminder automations in their practices. ContinuumCloud’s EHR solution includes automated workflows like patient appointment reminders. With this convenient feature in place, you can reduce no-shows and vacancies, improve business operations, and increase revenue and patient growth without requiring additional time or effort from your front desk staff.


Patients who reschedule themselves rather than get a call back from their provider are more likely to keep their appointments. ContinuumCloud's EHR allows patients to self-schedule and reschedule appointments. Patients can also communicate with their healthcare providers in real-time using HIPAA-compliant messaging. 

Automated contactless payment

Contactless payment is the one change patients were most eager to see and want to stick with long past the COVID-19 crisis. Several research surveys indicate that consumers, including healthcare consumers, prefer to pay online. As such, ContinuumCloud's EHR features a contactless check-in and payment option for patients.

Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) 

Health and human services organizations must use financial analysis and project management methodologies that decrease operational expenses and identify savings opportunities so they can get by using fewer resources. ContinuumCloud's EHR offers advanced reporting capabilities that enable you to identify revenue management systems and workflows that can improve profit margins. 

Here are a few additional ways ContinuumCloud’s EHR system supports revenue cycle management for operational efficiency to help organizations like yours meet their financial objectives:

  • Collect and organize data from patients, institutions, and the government
  • Create comprehensive benchmarking tools by analyzing massive data sets
  • Gain a deeper understanding of complex data through business intelligence dashboards
  • Create pixel-perfect reports for stakeholder support and funding

How HCM Drives Operational Efficiency

Applicants waiting for their turn

In order to hire, manage, and optimize talent, HR professionals need a clear strategy and set of practices. ContinuumCloud's HCM software can help behavioral health organizations streamline HR functions and improve operations. Consequently, team members can increase productivity and reduce costs.


Many efforts are being made today to boost operational efficiency by improving employee satisfaction and retention. After all, recruiting, hiring, and training new employees is expensive. Employee onboarding is the key to engaging and retaining employees — but it goes beyond basic paperwork to make a positive first impression on new employees. With ContinuumCloud’s HCM solution, you have the opportunity to give new hires a superior experience that includes the training and support they need to feel confident in their new roles. 

Position Control 

It’s critical for nonprofit organizations, particularly in the behavioral health industry, to maximize their workforce. ContinuumCloud’s Position Control software allows your organization to manage your workforce by building, tracking, reporting, and pivoting like never before. 

Position Control can improve operational efficiency by maximizing resources through budgeting, optimizing staffing processes and cost control, improving regulatory compliance, producing helpful reports that are multidimensional and point-in-time, and creating dynamic organizational charts for better budget modeling.

Benefits and Benefits Administration

Providing top candidates with a strong benefits package helps organizations stand out in a competitive labor market. In addition to promoting employee well-being, benefits are also crucial to your retention strategy. 

It's especially important in the field of behavioral health and human services, where burnout is particularly prevalent. It has been reported that over 50% of behavioral health providers have experienced burnout since the pandemic began. What’s more, the rate of burnout will likely rise due to increased demand for behavioral health care and challenges with staffing and retention.

To properly support patients or clients, you can help your employees manage their own well-being and mental health by offering them solid healthcare coverage and employee assistance programs (EAP). A seamless benefits administration solution from ContinuumCloud is just one more way to make employees happy from the start. 

How a Patient Engagement Platform Supports Operational Efficiency

Research shows that a shortage of behavioral health clinicians and limited services in rural areas are some of the most common barriers to treatment. Ambivalence and lack of knowledge also contribute. By offering digital interventions, ContinuumCloud's CaredFor app aims to overcome these challenges and provide behavioral health and human services to disparate and underserved communities.

ContinuumCloud’s patient engagement platform powered by CaredFor is one of the most innovative ways to improve operational efficiency. There are a number of features in the app that extend the continuum of care and support healthy behavior changes. The PE platform also provides an opportunity for peer support, alumni programming, telehealth, self-evaluation surveys, patient education, and easier access to a provider. 

By offering a digital roadmap for patients and alumni to follow, Care Journeys extend the reach of behavioral health professionals. Importantly, relapse rates can be reduced through Care Journeys by providing patients with additional resources when needed. 

Get an All-in-One Solution to Improve Operational Efficiency

A cloud-based EHR platform provides mobile apps, automation, and workflow tools, while human capital management software offers workforce solutions like onboarding, Position Control, and benefits administration. With ContinuumCloud's patient engagement platform, behavioral health professionals can extend patient access to care without eroding time allocated for other patients. Each solution improves operational efficiency, increases the quality of care, and boosts patient outcomes. 

Choosing ContinuumCloud means having a technology partner who understands your needs, can assist with workflow efficiency, and offer expert guidance along the way. In addition to helping you manage your workforce, scheduling, documentation, and revenue cycle, we offer comprehensive solutions that can help drive operational efficiency and improve your bottom line. To learn more, connect with us today


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