Spotlight Series Article, Sponsored by Welligent
Organizations across the behavioral health industry have traditionally been slower to adopt and utilize information technology (IT) when compared with other industries. Many familiar with the Behavioral Health space have been exposed to a “mom and pop” culture – (1) often relying on manual and paper processes over digital and (2) where staff and leadership take the stance that the company has operated one way for many years and has been successful, so why change what works?
With his decades of experience in IT, Shaun Poulton was a clear choice to become Salisbury Management’s Chief Information Officer, and in 2017 he stepped into his new role. The first thing he discovered was IT, and software in general, across Salisbury “was really kind of considered the help-desk. Make sure that I have wireless, get me access to Microsoft Office, some basic reporting and software tools.”
Mr. Poulton, along with company leadership, realized how Salisbury both viewed and utilized technology needed to shift toward being thoughtful and strategic in order to stay competitive and fuel growth. To spur transitional thinking, they internally posed strategic scenario questions like:
- What did they need in order to grow the business?
- What if they doubled their business?
- How could they work smarter not harder?
- How could they make sure to have good operational processes that would reduce manual tasks, and do things consistently throughout the company?
With the new-found enthusiasm brought on by the technology strategy discussions and concurrent assessment of the company’s existing technology, Mr. Poulton and his team created a vision and strategic plan for revamping technology across the organization. “There were a lot of different software tools that were all doing different things. They were mostly disconnected and not really effectively optimized for us,” said Mr. Poulton.
As a result of the assessment findings, the company’s leadership developed pillars that aligned IT strategy to the business needs and created solution initiatives for each pillar.
Source: Salisbury Management
Salisbury’s IT Strategy Pillars
- Improve Employee Mobility and System Access.
- Reduce Risk.
- Improve Security and Enhance System Availability.
- Improve Employee Efficiency and Quality of Care.
As part of the strategic plan, Salisbury reviewed all the major EHR players in both the traditional and behavioral health market. These thorough cross-functional reviews led Salisbury to select Welligent as the EHR developer and vendor for the future. This firm has almost two decades of experience working with behavioral health and human services providers, including schools. They are a fast-growing software vendor with a presence in over 30 states and clients in 190 organizations. Welligent’s innovative technology solutions make them an industry leader in tailored EHR experiences, mobile apps and customer responsiveness.
Mr. Poulton has this to say about the ongoing partnership with Welligent.
“They really treat us as a partner. You know we have not had that same experience with a lot of our other vendors. We have a direct line to their CEO and sales team. We don’t feel like we have to jump through hoops in order to get their attention. And that really helps smooth out any of the bumps that you have in the road because you know they’ve really got our back and are going to step up and do what’s needed for us to be successful.”
Mr. Poulton feels that all companies can gain value from the lessons learned at Salisbury when adopting strategic thinking around technology. Some key insights from the Salisbury team’s experience include:
- Old habits die hard, but taking a consultative approach with our business units has helped us drive success in IT.
- It’s still all about people and building relationships and trust. We can’t lose sight of our mission, so we frequently conduct onsite visits to experience the challenges our teams face on a daily basis.
- There is a limit to how much technology and change our organization can absorb.
- Education is a critical building block for change management, and it has reduced the fear of technology change with many of our business units.
- Getting a set of systems and data that give us a “single version of the truth” is going to be critical to our business growth and management.
Salisbury Management and its operating companies are experiencing positive growth right now. “It’s an exciting time to be here,” said Mr. Poulton, as Salisbury moves forward toward continued technology growth and innovation in the years ahead.
Founded in 2001, Welligent is a fast-growing EHR software development firm and vendor that provides a fully integrated, cloud-based platform and mobile apps to help you work smarter. We have complete solutions that can streamline your practice management, clinical documentation, revenue cycle and more.
As a partner, we take the time to understand your needs and your organization’s workflows to simply your EHR experience from decision point through implementation – and beyond. With our high-touch support teams focused on you, you can focus on the people in your care.
Together we can better serve behavioral health, human services, public health, foster care, I/DD, and student health communities across the country.
About Salisbury Management
Salisbury Management provides professional, operational, and management services to companies in the fields of behavioral health and special education. Our goal is to improve business processes for the companies we service on a continuous basis.
We have a highly dedicated and experienced team who collaborate to streamline internal practices and processes for better efficiency and accuracy.