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Behavioral Health Staff: Documentation, Forms & Policies


How do I get Avatar Access?

Look-Up ONLY Users

Internal Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) Staff & External county staff and contractors that need Look-Up Only access. (For example, PES, Correctional Health, Aging & Adult, and Administrators of BHRS/AOD that only need look-up access only).

1. Complete the required on-line Introduction to the Avatar Electronic Medical Record training and survey and BHRS Confidentiality & HIPAA for Mental Health & AOD training and short survey either online or LMS.


Avatar Contacts

This site is designed for staff and contracted providers of BHRS Mental Health and AOD. We hope that you find this site easy to browse and full of useful information. Highlights of this site include a Training Calendar, Avatar Contractor Implementation – Workgroup Agendas & Minutes, Avatar Resource Documentation & FAQ’s, Forms and more. Check back regularly for the latest Avatar news and updates.


BHRS Avatar Reference Guides

This page includes step-by-step reference guides to help you navigate, view information, and document in Avatar.

MyAvatar Video -  make sure to open your browser up to the full screen. The Introductory training takes 30 minutes.


Therapist Number Form

All new Behavioral Health and Recovery Services contractors that will be billing need to be set up in the BHRS billing system and need to apply for a Therapist Number.

Complete the appropriate Credentialing Form and fax it to BHRS Quality Management to gain a Therapist Number. These forms are also completed when there is a status changes.

If you also need Avatar access follow the instructions based on your desired level of access, see instructions for how to get Avatar Access.


BHRS Medical & Pharmacy Information


Client & Family Welcome Information

Welcome to San Mateo County’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services

In order to give you an initial orientation about the services available to you, we have carefully assembled this Welcome Packet that includes all the information you need to start accessing our network of care. 

This information is available in paper form without charge upon request. You will receive a copy within 5 business days. Please contact your provider or the BHRS ACCESS Call Center at: (800) 686-0101 or TTY (for hearing impaired): dial 711

*Providers: Items with an asterisk* must be placed in the lobby of all BHRS County and Contractor Clinics.


Client & Family Welcome Information: Chinese

歡迎來到San Mateo縣行為健康和康復服務部 (Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, BHRS)


*服務提供者: 請務必將標示星號*的物品放置在所有BHRS縣與承包商診所大廳內。



Client & Family Welcome Information: Filipino/Tagalog

Welcome sa Mga Serbisyo sa Kalusugang Nauugnay sa Pag-uugali at Pagpapagaling (Behavioral Health and Recovery Services) ng San Mateo County

Upang mabigyan ka ng panimulang oryentasyon tungkol sa mga serbisyong available sa iyo, maingat naming binuo ang Welcome Packet na ito na nagsasaad sa lahat ng impormasyong kailangan mo upang ma-access ang aming network ng pangangalaga.

*Mga Provider: Ang mga item na may asterisk* ay dapat ilagay sa lobby ng lahat ng Klinika ng County at Contractor ng BHRS.


Interoperability & Data API Guidelines

The procedure page aims to outline guidelines for the implementation of Interoperability FHIR standards (as defined by DHCS/CalAIM initiatives) within San Mateo County’s BHRS system. The adoption of FHIR is crucial for enhancing interoperability, data exchange, and communication among various stakeholders within the behavioral health domain. 

Interoperability Objectives 

1. Facilitate seamless data exchange: FHIR implementation will enable the secure and efficient exchange of patient data between different healthcare entities within the county behavioral health system. 

2. Improve care coordination: By standardizing data formats and protocols, FHIR will support better coordination of care among behavioral health providers, primary care physicians, social services agencies, and other relevant entities. 

3. Enhance patient outcomes: Access to comprehensive and up-to-date patient information through FHIR will enable providers to make more informed decisions, leading to improved patient outcomes and quality of care. 

4. Ensure data privacy and security: The policy emphasizes compliance with relevant privacy and security regulations, such as HIPAA, to safeguard patient information during its exchange and utilization.

Infrastructure and Framework (FHIR) 

The document outlines a structured approach for implementing FHIR standards within the county behavioral health system, including technical specifications, data mapping, and integration with existing health IT infrastructure.  San Mateo County BHRS Infrastructure for FHIR is provided through our primary health care system: Netsmart. 

Governance and Oversight 

County understands that establishing governance structures and oversight mechanisms is crucial for managing FHIR implementation projects, ensuring compliance with policies, and resolving any issues or disputes that may arise. 

In observance of that need, San Mateo County relies on the guidance provided by state regulators, DHCS, county health division leadership, and county health governance committees.  San Mateo BHRS is also fully engaged in adherence to the privacy policies parameters outlined by DHCS and SUD privacy policy directed by 42 CFR Part 2.  

Link to San Mateo County BHRS: General HIPAA, Privacy and Security control/release of information release pages