Space Planning for EMR

November 1, 2008

We are planning on a new building for five doctors. Included in this plan is a fully operational EMR - no paper charts! But we need some help with the floor plan. What should it look like to reflect an all-EMR practice instead of the current layout we have with big medical records departments for housing paper charts? Any suggestions?

 

Question: We are planning on a new building for five doctors. Included in this plan is a fully operational EMR - no paper charts! But we need some help with the floor plan. What should it look like to reflect an all-EMR practice instead of the current layout we have with big medical records departments for housing paper charts? Any suggestions?

Answer: Actually, EMR accommodation is the least of your concerns in a redesign; productivity is paramount. Make sure you focus squarely on that.

That said, I have seen some trends for optimal EMR implementation. I’ve been seeing more and more “kiosk”-style work stations in the middle of exam room pods (e.g., three exam rooms clustered around a work station). Physicians stop there to complete charting after every few visits. They can also check messages there instead of returning to an office.

I’ve also seen small, built-in shelves within exam rooms so that a physician can use his tablet or laptop PC and still face the patient. This is great for staying connected with your patients while treating them.