Frequently Asked Questions

What is HerdmanHealth?

A cloud-based Herdman Assessment Form (HAF) software that intuitively organizes the patient history, helps counselors document faster and more accurately, and sets your organization up for future success. Save time and money!

How does HerdmanHealth save you time and money?

When the client completes the history sections of the HAF remotely or prior to the assessment interview,  the counselor saves time by not asking the same questions and not taking the time to type in the client’s answers. Some answers to questions are auto-entered and can be changed by the client or counselor based on the individual’s personal history. Also, a quality narrative report of 4-6 pages is prepared at the click of a button saving a great deal of report writing time.

Time is money. The HAF will save anywhere from 1-2 hours of a counselor’s time thus allowing additional billable hours to be scheduled or other essential services to be completed.

Does the HerdmanHealth assessment make a diagnosis?

No. It remains the counselor’s responsibility to review and verify with the client the answers provided. The counselor is responsible to ask clarifying questions and to make the diagnosis based upon the client’s answers and the clinical judgement of the counselor. The counselor is responsible to formulate the rationale for the diagnosis and to make the appropriate level of care recommendation and other recommendations appropriate for each individual client.

How do I register myself or my agency?

Go to and click on Free Trial. Register your organization. In Setup verify all fields in the Organization TAB. In the Users TAB add the email address for new users and indicate if user is also an administrator. In the Credits TAB you can pay for more credits. In the Manage Recommendations TAB you can add/delete recommendations.

What are "credits"?

A credit is used to generate a narrative report for the client being assessed. One credit is used per client no matter how many reports are generated.

When you join HerdmanHealth, you get a few free credits. You can purchase additional ones in the Settings when you login.

How is the Assessment Form organized?

To get started with administering the Assessment Form, the General Info TAB must completed. In order to request that the client complete the history sections of the Assessment Form remotely, the fields in red MUST be completed in order to send the client a link to complete the sections before the assessment interview. The client can also complete the history sections immediately prior to the interview in the office if not completed remotely prior to the interview. The other fields in the General Info TAB are either completed remotely by the client or completed by the counselor during the assessment interview.

The Detail Info TAB has eight sections to be completed by the client either remotely, in office or during the assessment interview. There are two additional TABs for the counselor only. The TABs are explained here.

Are any items automatically entered?

Yes. When appropriate, data in the General Info TAB are auto-entered in other TABs thus saving additional time. Some questions are answered as Yes or NO 90+% of the time and thus are automatically entered. As necessary, these items can be changed to reflect the individual’s personal history.

What do I need to be aware of when completing the sections of the Assessment Form?

In the General Info TAB-Social Security Number – Enter the client Social Security Number as 123-45-6789 (dashes needed to ensure consistency when searching the data base); if none enter 000-00-0000 and explain in your narrative.

  • Demographic Information.
  • Presenting Problem/Primary Complaint.
  • Medical History.
  • Education, Employment and Military History
  • Drug and Alcohol History.
  • Legal History
  • Family History.
  • Behavioral Health History
  • ASAM Criteria
  • Diagnosis/Summary/Recommendations

In the Demographic Information TAB.

What was your current age on the moment of the last information update? DI.2  This field is auto-calculated by taking the current date minus the date of birth to calculate the current age at the time of the last information update.

In the Presenting Problem/Primary Complaint TAB.

When were you first referred to have this assessment? PP.1 The intent of this question is to capture the length of time between the date the client was first referred and the current date.
What is the PRIMARY reason for your having this assessment? PP.2 Enter the client’s words for his or her primary problem or primary complaint
What led you/motivated you to schedule this evaluation? PP.3 Enter the client’s own words for what led him or her to schedule the appointment.

All other items in this section are self-explanatory.

In the Medical History TAB.

All items in this section are self-explanatory.

In the Education, Employment and Military History TAB.

All items in this section are self-explanatory.

In the Drug and Alcohol History TAB.

For every substance a client has ever used, the client makes a rank order of those substances. For each substance used there is a Comments Field. The counselor uses this field to write a history of the client’s use that captures the individual patterns for frequency and amounts used. This is where there is documentation of tolerance, withdrawal and periods of abstinence. Individual patterns of use justify the diagnosis of a substance use disorder. Usually a client has a primary drug of choice (ranked #1 and likely the primary diagnosis). There may be additional substances used that will justify additional diagnoses.  Often there are substances used one time or rarely and have never met criteria for a substance use disorder. The counselor notes this in the Comments field.

All other items in this section are self-explanatory.

In the Legal History TAB.

Note – To save time, all items from LE.3 to LE.23 are defaulted to “No” and must be changed to “Yes” if appropriate.

All other items in this section are self-explanatory.

In the Family History TAB.

Note – To save time, all items from FH.18.1 to FH.18.12 are defaulted to “Yes” and must be changed to “No” or “n/a” if appropriate. “n/a” should be used if there has been no contact with the person identified in the past 30 days or if never in a lifetime.

Note – To save time, all items from FH.19.1 to FH.19.18 are defaulted to “No” and must be changed to “Yes” or “n/a” if appropriate. “n/a” should be used if there has been no contact with the person identified in the past 30 days or if never in a lifetime.

In the Behavioral Health History TAB.

Note – To save time, all items from BH.4 to BH.21 are defaulted to “No” and must be changed to “Yes”, if appropriate.

In the ASAM Criteria TAB.

ASAM Criteria ratings are often required when completing substance use evaluations. As a time saver for the counselor a Table is offered that allows the rating of 0 to 4 for each of the six dimensions of the ASAM Criteria. There is a Field for Counselor for the counselor to type a narrative rational for the rating provided

In the Diagnosis/Summary/Recommendations TAB.

This TAB is offered again to save the counselor time in formatting and typing for each evaluation report.

In the Diagnosis section the counselor provides the DSM-5 code for the Primary Diagnosis; then, in the Additional Diagnoses section the counselor provides additional diagnoses or rule outs for each client.

In the Summary and Rationale section the first paragraph is auto-populated from the Reason for Referral. The counselor now provides the summary of the pertinent findings from the assessment and provides a rationale for the diagnosis. Often the counselor will cite the criteria met from the DSM-5 for each diagnosis made.

In the Recommendations section the counselor is offered a checklist of recommendation options, All levels of care from the ASAM Criteria are listed along with some other frequently used recommendations that may be pertinent to a client’s care.

NOTE in the Agency/Counselor Setup there is the ability to add your favorite recommendations to the list already offered. Go to Setup and click on Manage Recommendations. Click on Add New Recommendations then type in the new recommendation and click add new recommendation.  There you can also delete recommendations you may never use.


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