Posted By Lauren Brawley On January 2, 2020

The Golden Thread: Tell a Story of the Entire Treatment Journey

Clinicians work tirelessly to fully understand their clients. They continually agree documentation takes away from time providing care. To diagnose and treat a client properly, healthcare professionals must follow an entire client journey. A behavioral health electronic health record (EHR) should do the same. From intake to reimbursement and every encounter in between, the documentation of a client’s treatment is critical. The Golden Thread is an ongoing, comprehensive view of a client’s information within an EHR. It allows for the ease of one-time data entry. Specifically, The Golden Thread focuses on 3 areas of medical necessity: diagnostic assessment, treatment plan, and progress notes. One-time data entry saves time and increases accuracy and efficiency. Client information is entered during intake and automatically woven throughout the entire treatment plan. While The Golden Thread is important for delivering quality care, it is also helpful for billing and reporting.

The Golden Thread in the Treatment Journey

The Golden Thread integrates the entire treatment journey from diagnostic assessment to billing and reporting

Diagnostic Assessment

Data entered during the client intake is seamlessly connected to the entire record with The Golden Thread. Presenting problems, diagnoses, demographics, and patient history are automatically updated and appear throughout the client’s health record. Users save time by avoiding split screens, duplicating data, and copy and paste. Screening assessment scores, such as the PHQ-9 and Beck’s Depression, are at the user’s fingertips. Prescriptions are easy to access and update. Time spent searching through paper records or clicking to find assessments is cut with The Golden Thread. The diagnostic assessment, however, is just the beginning of a client journey. The Golden Thread loops the initial assessment and all additional information into each step of the journey.

Treatment Plans

The Golden Thread supports a meaningful client narrative. It pulls demographics, existing problems, current goals, and interventions into a prescribed treatment plan. Relevant information is easy to view and access from one module to another. Treatment plans are evidence-based and specific. Additionally, a well-implemented Golden Thread allows clinicians to easily create new treatment plans along the way. Goals and desired outcomes are easy to update. This makes the client’s story easy to understand inside the electronic record. 

Electronic treatment plans are more effective when using The Golden Thread. Collaborative documentation is streamlined. Comprehensive treatment plans become helpful when progress notes are added by multiple clinicians. The automatically populated fields allow clinicians to see if each client encounter is compliant with the initial treatment plan. Progress that is easy to view allows clinicians to support clients on improvements throughout their treatment journey. Finally, treatment plans within The Golden Thread are flexible. If something is not working, it can be easily changed, documented, and updated.  

Progress Notes

Progress notes allow clinicians to track details of the care provided. The Golden Thread automatically pulls selected goals and interventions from the treatment plan. This allows clinicians to set specific diagnoses for particular notes. Documenting specific, measurable improvements shows how the care provided corresponds with the treatment plan. Customizable notes identify services provided, client reactions to interventions, collaborative documentation, and meet compliance requirements.

Billing and Reporting is Less of a Headache

Many EHRs stop incorporating data at progress notes. However, there is great value in pulling relevant data into billing and reporting. In Patagonia Health’s behavioral health EHR, The Golden Thread automatically pulls selected patient data into billing and reporting. For example, many eligibility standards require reporting on the documentation of treatment services. With The Golden Thread, this documentation is accessible with a click of a button. Additionally, the concept automates billing and remittance posting. Patagonia Health has focused our mission on addressing billing and reporting, which are often a behavioral health agency’s top challenges. 

Save Time with The Golden Thread Workflow in Your EHR 

Patagonia Health builds The Golden Thread workflow into our assessments, treatment plans, and progress notes by allowing vital data to be pulled into any narrative without duplicate entry. Our solution also aligns data into billing and reporting. Through every step in the treatment journey, a story is told. Get back time spent on ongoing documentation, searching for information, and other administrative frustrations. When The Golden Thread is truly implemented throughout your EHR, you spend more time providing the care your clients need. Improve your workflow, save time, and increase your reimbursements.

To learn more about how The Golden Thread can improve your workflow, contact us today.

About Lauren Brawley

Lauren Brawley is a Marketing Specialist at Patagonia Health, a cloud-based EHR designed specifically for behavioral and public healthcare. Lauren integrates her strong communications skills with industry research to keep partners up to date on important Behavioral and Public Health resources and news.