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Blogs April 12, 2022

The Importance of an In-Depth Pre-Assessment


Pre-assessments are an integral piece of behavioral healthcare. They help facilities understand what is going on with a patient and set treatment centers up for success while treating those in their care. For this reason, it is crucial for pre-assessment to be in-depth. Without an in-depth pre-assessment, a behavioral healthcare facility sells itself short. Luckily, at Lightning Step Technologies, we have made it as easy as ever to create and utilize in-depth pre-assessment with our All-In-One CRM (Customer Relation Management), EMR (Electronic Medical Record), and RCM (Revenue Cycle Management) system. 

What Is a Pre-Assessment?

Pre-assessments are part of the intake process for behavioral healthcare facilities. When a potential patient calls a treatment center, someone from the admissions team answers. An admissions representative will guide them through the process of getting set up for treatment, including running insurance benefits, answering any questions about a facility, and more. 

When a patient is set up and ready to enter treatment, they must complete a pre-assessment first. This can be done with the admissions team or may be completed with on-site staff such as a case manager or therapist. A pre-assessment gathers patient information, including:

  • What substances and how much the patient is taking
  • Any co-occurring mental health disorders a patient is diagnosed with
  • Any mental health symptoms the patient is experiencing
  • Co-occurring physical conditions
  • Medical history
  • Why the patient is seeking treatment

Depending on the behavioral healthcare facility and what they treat, every pre-assessment will have different questions. 

Is a Patient Appropriate for a Facility?

One of the integral factors of having an in-depth pre-assessment is gauging whether or not a facility is a right fit for behavioral healthcare. For example, most behavioral healthcare facilities will ask about mental health history, but not all treatment centers treat mental health or high acuity mental health. If a patient is struggling with addiction and co-occurring bipolar disorder and calls a facility that only treats substance abuse, a pre-assessment will reveal this information. From this point, staff can point the patient in the direction of a facility that will be a better fit for them. 

Gauging whether or not a patient is appropriate for a facility is also crucial for patient safety. If a patient needs detox, this will also be revealed in a pre-assessment. Having in-depth questions on a pre-assessment about substance abuse habits can let the staff at a facility know what a patient will need once they are in their care. If substance abuse history is not in-depth enough, it could mean life or death in the detox phase of treatment. 

Does the Patient Need Accommodations?

An in-depth pre-assessment can also help behavioral healthcare facilities understand any accommodations a patient may need. If a patient uses a wheelchair, they may require an accessible bedroom and bathroom. They may also need ramps and elevators if the facility has stairs. If a facility does not have wheelchair access, knowing what the patient needs by performing an in-depth pre-assessment can ensure the individual is referred to a facility that has the accommodations they need. 

How Lightning Step Technologies Can Help

At Lightning Step Technologies, our All-In-One CRM, EMR, and RCM system can help facilities create and use in-depth pre-assessments during their admissions phase. Our software can do this due to various factors. 


Lightning Step Technologies’ system provides behavioral healthcare facilities with templates where they can begin the process of designing their own medical charts and forms that will most benefit their practices and procedures. Templates can help streamline the admission and check-in process and promote patient satisfaction.

The Ability to Customize Forms

In order to have an in-depth pre-assessment, behavioral healthcare facilities need the option to customize their forms. This way, they can customize questions that ensure they get the exact information they need to best help patients. With Lightning Step, facilities have the ability to customize our templates. On the other hand, other software may require a facility to use a pre-loaded form, meaning staff will have to know which questions to skip over and any additional questions they need to ask that are not listed on the pre-assessment. 

A Fully Integrated System

A fully integrated system will take information obtained in the CRM during a pre-assessment and transfer it to the EMR. Having this information on hand in an EMR as a clinician can help create the best treatment plan for patients. Within Lightning Step’s All-In-One CRM, EMR, and RCM software lies essential data that can be analyzed to improve the growth of behavioral healthcare facilities to best treat patients. When all of this data lives in one place, any staff member in the company can easily access it, allowing for more detailed, seamless clearance across all facets of a program.

Pre-assessments are an integral part of admitting a patient into a behavioral healthcare facility. However, in order for a pre-assessment to best do its job, it needs to be in-depth. An in-depth pre-assessment will obtain information such as substance abuse, mental health, and medical history alongside medications taken and more. This information can help behavioral healthcare facilities determine if a patient is suitable for their program and whether or not a patient may need any kind of accommodations. If your behavioral healthcare facility is looking for help with creating in-depth pre-assessments, Lightning Step Technologies is here for you. Our All-In-One CRM, EMR, and RCM system provides templates and the ability to fully customize forms to your needs to ensure your pre-assessments hit all of the necessary checkmarks. Our fully integrated software ensures all the required data is transferred throughout, ensuring all staff members are prepared to treat patients. To learn more about our software, schedule a demo today!



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