Featured Articles: Meaningful Use of HIT

3D Modeling Technology for Successful Adoption of EHRs

Thursday, October 13, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Joy Ingram
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by Noble Diller, Ice Edge Business Solutions

The adoption of electronic health records (EHR) can yield excellent benefits for all involved, including higher overall quality of patient care, better use of space and efficient use of funds. Prior to adopting EHR, practices must proactively assess their current workflow state and how patient encounters are handled. The changing care model of Medical Home and Meaningful Use has an impact on facility redesign. What physical changes in the space must occur to find success in meeting MU requirements?

Conventional 2D design templates communicate only the workflow path; they fail to adequately illustrate the potential impact changing the path may have on patient encounters and physical facility redesign. In a recent Quicknotes article written by Andrew Spottswood (The Real Reasons Behind [LOW] Electronic Health Records Adoption, 2011), the low adoption and low satisfaction of basic or comprehensive EHR was discussed. The article said low adoption rates have little to do with monetary reimbursement, but that perhaps a different approach was needed.

One different approach available is 3D technology which creates an essential bridge of communication between 2D plans and the actual physical environment. 3D simulation technology, or 3D simulation modelling, is a method that helps ensure all parties fully understand the impact of impending changes prior to adopting EHR. This in turn increases the level of satisfaction and benefit in adopting the electronic method. Any specific environment, including a healthcare facility, can be created in the virtually realistic 3D environment. No surprises means all parties within a practice are prepared for the modifications brought on by EHR implementation, resulting in a smoother transition, higher success rate and increased overall benefit for both patients and care workers.

3D design and specification software can be used to envision and design any environment in an interactive 3D mode; users can fly through the layout and experience the layout and flow of patient encounter as it would occur in their practice. As all elements within the 3D layout are existing products, the technology takes care of specifying, pricing and providing manufacturing data, should the project warrant it. The space can be perfected in 3D, then put into production and installed in a matter of weeks. If undertaking a full redesign, 3D simulation software is ideal when used in conjunction with modular architectural elements. A modular approach also supports post occupancy change and promotes operational sustainability.

Advanced 3D technologies allow modification to the architectural elements, such as structure, colors, shapes and sizes, while simultaneously keeping track of all updated pricing and parts lists. The end user may work in the collaborative process to explore various layouts until the perfect redesign is achieved. Instant renderings of that space are created within minutes for easy viewing by stakeholders.

This form of visual communication results in a valuable saving of time, resources and dollars. The right technology promotes sustainability throughout the design process by drastically reducing re-work. Potential impact of the space on work flow is clearly seen and easily understood. The potential for human error or design misinterpretation is cut, as the visual representation communicates in an easily understood manner and various outcomes can be explored.

Prior to adopting EHR in your practice, explore 3D virtually realistic modeling technology as an avenue to proactively address potential changes in workflow and patient encounter. The workflow will be better understood and success in meeting MU achieved much faster and with greater clarity with the use of a 3D visualization technology throughout the planning stage.

NWRPCA welcomes and regularly publishes white papers and articles submitted by members, partners and associates with subject matter expertise. The appearance of any guest publication in our Health Center News database represents the views of the author and does not constitute endorsement by NWRPCA of the stated opinions or perspectives, nor does it suggest endorsement of the contributor's products or services.

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