On this day, I visited the Institute’s Walton Family Health Center in Bronx, New York. Due to a time constraint on my part, I did not get to shadow providers caring for patients, but I did attend a CME in the morning and then walked around the facility with it’s Medical Director. Pictures are below, click on any to see it in gallery format.
The facility is about 10 years old, and to my eyes, it seems very well designed, as well designed as any outpatient medical center I have seen. This is a medical center that has transitioned to the EHR that the rest of the Institute uses, so they have experienced the return of space back to the practice now that paper charts are gone. You can see a scanning station in one of the images – this is where the medical records room used to be.
This medical center is interesting in that it also houses a dental practice, which coexists well according to the Medical Director. It was pointed out to me that the dental exam rooms have no doors, to promote team efficiency. The dental practice also uses a dental-specific EHR, that in this case does not communicate with the medical EHR. I have long been fascinated with dental practices, because I believe that they have done a lot of work to maximize workflow in the era of electronic records that allopathic medicine could learn from. I have seen that dentists do a great job of involving care team members in the use of the EHR and in producing documentation, and this was the case here, when I asked how documentation was supported.
You’ll note the picture of the flourescent viewbox – physicians are forgetting how to use this in the area of digital radiology, and that’s the case here. There are challenges in this medical center in not having on site radiology, though. Radiology services can be challenging to arrange, and retrieval of exam data that goes with it can be equally challenging. This has implications for a personal health record and patients’ desire to have complete results available to them.
I was also able to talk with Paloma Hernandez, CEO of Urban Health Plan of Bronx, NY, and her Medical Director, Samuel De Leon, MD, about visiting this organization as one of our future sites. I got the sense of their innovation by the fact that they are now piloting iris scanners for patient identification, linked to their EHR system. It looks like they are doing outstanding work, as is the Institute.