Top Eight to Include in your Behavioral Health Crisis Software RFP


Request for proposal

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:

  • Onboarding
  • 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.

RFP Process

Other News

White Paper: Demonstrated Methodology for Mobile Crisis Response

  BHL drafted a white paper that provides detailed instructions for agencies that are providing mobile crisis response. The white paper covers efficient and effective community crisis care that will: Reduce wait times for service Reduce mobile crisis transit...

National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month – Let’s Talk About It

  Written by: John Draper, P.hD. September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month – an opportunity to be aware of what we can do to prevent the growing number of suicides in this country. For nearly 20 years, a major part of my job was to promote...

988 Crisis Jam: Regionalizing Crisis Care in Maryland

  By regionalizing their crisis system, central Maryland is reimagining their crisis system to improve access to care across city boundaries and leading change management. In this video episode of the 988 Crisis Jam, Adrienne Breidenstine and Chauna Brocht of...

How Three States are Achieving Sustainable Behavioral Health Crisis Systems

Though many states are identifying similar and other strategies, this paper looks at the stepwise approaches used in three unique state systems in creating their new crisis services systems and their successes in developing diverse and sustainable financing methods.

Trends Report: Top Five Movements in Behavioral Crisis Care Software in 2023

  The need for flexible, compatible, and user-friendly software in behavioral crisis care services has never been more apparent. A system that can support integration allows organizations to automate processes, reduce workloads, and improve patient-care...

988: Most Americans are Still Unaware of the 911 Alternative for Mental Health Emergencies

  According to a survey conducted for the Pew Charitable Trusts, as of April 2023, only about one-fifth of U.S. adults have heard of 988. Of those, a quarter indicated that they didn’t know its purpose or when someone should call. That means only 13% of those...

Four Tips to Improve Agency Collaboration During a Mobile Crisis Response

  Cross-agency collaboration that supports a timely response for someone in a behavioral health crisis is crucial. In the midst of quickly changing circumstances, using technology to share data and enable timely communication, as well as streamline a mobile...

Georgia’s 988 Mental Health Hotline is a National Leader

May 19, 2023 – Georgia’s new 988 mental health hotline service, which launched last summer, was recognized on Friday as a model for other states. But some Democratic lawmakers in the Legislature say last-minute budget cuts made by the governor’s office could hamper the planned expansion of 988.

The Role of Technology in a Mobile Crisis Response

Technology plays a crucial role in mobile crisis response by enabling timely communication, data sharing, coordination, and resource management.

Georgia Smartphone App Launched for Youth in Crisis

ATLANTA — State officials have launched a new mobile application to support the Georgia Crisis and Access Line (GCAL), a 24/7 hotline offering free and confidential access to services for mental illness, substance use disorders, and intellectual and developmental...


Translate >
Skip to content