Core Solutions Blog

Helping Tackle the Biggest Behavioral Health Challenges in 2024

Core's Top Priorities and Initiatives to Improve Outcomes

Helping Tackle the Biggest Behavioral Health Challenges in 2024

We're about a month into 2024, so we've had some time to reflect on what was a busy and eventful 2023 and further define the challenges we're facing and likely to face throughout the upcoming year. These analyses help us at Core Solutions ensure we are properly focused on supporting our clients in their efforts to improve the outcomes for the people they serve by strengthening all aspects of their operations.  

Why do we think we're positioned well to help our clients achieve a successful 2024? Before I dive into this, I think it's useful to reference a white paper I wrote last year titled Next Frontier of Care Delivery in Behavioral Health. In it, I discussed a McKinsey & Co. report that identified 10 transformative ways care delivery would evolve over the next few years and how these 10 ways applied to behavioral health. If you haven't read through that report, I highly recommend it. All the transformative ways identified hold true as we move forward in 2024. In addition, the behavioral health industry, which includes mental health, intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), and substance use disorders (SUD), along with the rest of healthcare, is beginning to embrace artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. AI is here and will be taking on a greater role within our industries. 

Now I would like to take you through some of the top priorities and initiatives here at Core.

Free White Paper: The Next Frontier of Care Delivery in Behavioral Health

Ambient Dictation

One of the biggest focuses for behavioral health providers we're currently seeing is on reducing staff burden. That really points to a significant area of focus for us at Core, which is ambient dictation. Ambient dictation allows you to record the session between a staff member/provider and their client. The AI technology then summarizes the discussion and renders that up into a summary for review, editing, and eventually pasting into the progress note. Studies have shown ambient dictation saves 25% to 40% of clinician time. When you can save that much time, a clinician can engage further with clients, spend more time in client-facing activities and documentation, and potentially see more clients. Note: Core does not save any of the recordings used to provide the summary, eliminating HIPAA and other potential privacy issues. 

Core intensely developed its ambient dictation solution in 2023 and will be rolling it out this year across behavioral health. We're not only implementing ambient dictation, but we're datamining the ambient dictation notes and providing clinical decision support to providers at the point of care.  

What's noteworthy here is that such datamining is different and has greater applicability than relying on claims to identify those who may need behavioral health services. If you use claims, that means somebody has already been identified as having a behavioral health disorder, which resulted in the creation of the claim. By mining data notes from all providers who touched the client, including care managers, peers, physicians, nurses, social workers, home health workers, other counseling agents and the client themselves, you get a much more robust and clearer picture of the client and are able to identify behavioral health needs before they receive treatment or services. The movement towards leveraging AI ambient dictation is occurring industrywide. At Core, we're going over and above by delivering that critical clinical decision support.  

Workflow Engine and Clinical Process Tracker 

Core has spent significant time further developing our workflow engine and clinical process tracker — two features unique to our Cx360 platform. The workflow engine not only maps out the process but also notifies the next responsible party for what they need to accomplish based upon the workflow designed by the organization.  

This capability is extremely important, especially considering there are usually multiple people who touch and have responsibility for a client. Some of these professionals are in entities outside the organization that's financially responsible for the client. All that care must be coordinated to deliver optimal outcomes. Core's unique application allows the notification of those activities required for whatever process must come next for both internal and external entities. This includes messaging a client for what they must do next as part of their care plan.  

Using the workflow engine will further drive the use of evidence-based practices, which are essential to providing quality care and improved outcomes. In 2023, Core solidified a significant agreement with NYU McSilver Institute. Through the partnership, McSilver Institute will work with Core's clients and potential clients to identify and develop the automated workflows for a number of evidence-based practices and make them available to Core users. McSilver Institute will not only help develop those evidence-based practice workflows, but our relationship with them also allows our clients to use McSilver Institute resources for the organizational training required when implementing evidence-based practices. We believe this relationship with McSilver Institute will deliver significant dividends for us and our clients and ultimately the people our clients serve.  

Tapping Into Client Knowledge 

We know our clients have great insight into what they need to provide better care and improve how they navigate and overcome barriers. That's why, as we work to further improve our latest version of Cx360, we've reinstituted our User Group. The Core User Group meets quarterly to learn about new applications Core will be rolling out, provide feedback on product and service needs, and share input to help establish the direction for where Core heads in the future.  

An example of how we're leveraging our user group is to help identify the evidence-based practices that are needed most and make the most sense for our users. Based upon user input and guidance, we're going to focus on building those practices into the platform and continuously add new practices and refine existing practices that reflect user feedback and requests.

Free White Paper: The Next Frontier of Care Delivery in Behavioral Health

Continued Emphasis on CCBHCs and 988 Programs 

In 2023, Core observed a significant increase in engagement from Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) and 988 crisis call centers as these entities further established themselves and saw greater engagement from the people and communities benefiting from their services. We expect to continue to see such engagements in 2024. We've worked and continue to work on ensuring Core products provide the functionalities beyond traditional EHRs needed to further enable a community-based or system of care approach that are required for CCBHCs and 988 call centers to coordinate and share data with everyone involved in the programs to help clients.  

Maximizing Value of Behavioral Health Data 

A consistency over the past few years that has continued into 2024 is that data is still "king." Behavioral health providers must utilize their data to improve how they manage their organizations and provide better quality outcomes. To that end, Core has continued to upgrade its embedded business intelligence tools and dashboards to make it easier for our customers to develop, maintain, and generate their own dashboards and reports. 

Electronic Visit Verification 

Recognizing that more care is being provided outside a behavioral health organization's four walls, we continue to develop and strengthen our mobile application. A noteworthy improvement we rolled out in 2023 that's now available to all users is the ability to provide electronic visit verification (EVV). Users can meet EVV guidelines on the road with functionality that complies with state-specific and federal EVV rules. 

Issues and Opportunities Around Data Sharing 

One area we hope to see improvement in 2024 concerns data sharing between providers and health information exchanges (HIEs). Challenges remain here, and they are negatively affecting care coordination. We want to be part of the solution. Core is ready and able to support data sharing and complies with all ONC and HHS requirements for interoperability. Hopefully we will see an increase in the number of organizations adding technology, like Cx360, that will enable them to achieve highly efficient and cost-effective data sharing. 

If you would like to discuss any of the topics covered in this column, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly at 

The Next Frontier of Care Delivery in Behavioral Health