Behavioral Health Link has seen our fair share of RFPs, RFQs, and RFIs. As states, counties, cities, and towns continue to adopt 988, the demand to keep up with calls and inquiries is growing. We have compiled a list of items that could be considered when drafting your bid document to cover all aspects of a software system solution.
Use this blog as an outline to create a request for quote (RFQ), request for information (RFI), or request for proposal (RFP) to narrow down the competition and find the right mix.
1. User interface and experience (UI/UX):
Ensure the software has an intuitive and user-friendly interface that is accessible to a wide range of users, including clinicians and individuals in crisis. Look for features such as:
- Clear navigation
- Easy-to-use crisis intervention tools
- Customizable dashboards that cater to different users or stakeholders
2. Crisis assessment and intervention tools:
The software should offer tools for assessing crises and providing timely interventions. This could include:
- Risk assessment scales
- Severity level identification
- Crisis de-escalation techniques
- Options for coordinating care among multiple providers
- Proper crisis journey documentation
3. Secure communication and data management:
Security and confidentiality are paramount in behavioral health software. The system should have robust encryption, secure user authentication, and HIPAA-compliant data storage. It should enable secure communication between individuals and providers and offer options for sharing crisis-related information with authorized personnel.
- The software should have multi-factor authentication
- It must have log activity tracking and secure end-to-end encryption
- The software should be cloud-based with backup systems in place in case of an emergency
- Consent management
4. Integration and interoperability:
The software should integrate seamlessly with existing electronic health record (EHR) systems and other relevant software used within your organization. The crisis management system should have the capability to plug in and share essential information with other platforms to ensure the continuity of long-term care.
5. Reporting and analytics:
The system should provide detailed reporting and analytics capabilities. Robust reporting features can help evaluate the effectiveness of the crisis management system and justify data-driven improvements. This could include:
- Tracking crisis intervention contacts, outcomes, and follow-up
- Response times
- Trends in crisis incidents
- Clinician performance
- Real-time dashboards of key data elements for monitoring performance
6. Mobile access:
In today’s fast-paced environment, it is important to have mobile access to preview individual information and clinical documentation. Ensure that the behavioral health crisis management software you choose is mobile-friendly to operate seamlessly with any mobile device. Allowing teams to access individual data and documentation while on the go will improve the quality of care and individual outcomes.
7. Safety planning, follow-up, and related resources:
Outline the requirements your jurisdiction requires for safety planning and ensure tools that will allow the responder, clinician, and individual to collaborate on creating a safety plan, along with access to crisis prevention and coping resources. This could include:
- Safety planning template and capability to share this with stakeholders
- Incident reporting and documentation
- Referral resources and outpatient appointment scheduling
- Follow-up contact assignment, scheduling, and documentation of clinical status and outcomes
8. Training and support:
It’s important to detail your expectations for vendor-provided training, onboarding, and ongoing technical support to ensure staff proficiency and system reliability. This could include:
- System configurations
- System customizations
- User testing
- User training
- User ongoing support
Remember, these are general categories, and your specific requirements will depend on the needs of your organization, program, and regulations. Each of these points should be expanded upon with as much detail as possible to help you find the best crisis management software fit.