Office of the Future

FMX Exhibit Offers Glimpse at Future of the Physician's Office Space

August 10, 2016 12:08 pm Jill Sederstrom
[The Office of the Future exhibit to debut at 2016 FMX]

Health care reform and what follows continue to transform the way health care is delivered, but what will that transformation mean for the traditional physician's office? That's a question the AAFP and the Connecticut Institute for Primary Care Innovation will try to answer in an interactive, hands-on exhibit set to debut at the 2016 Family Medicine Experience (FMX) Sept. 20-24 in Orlando, Fla.

This special FMX exhibit -- dubbed the Office of the Future -- won't focus on some futuristic workplace 30 years down the road but will instead provide family physicians with innovative ideas and strategies to weave technology and collaboration into their existing offices in the immediate years ahead.

"We are moving into a value-based health care world, and we will describe how to do this in a way that is sustainable, meaningful and has humans doing the right things for humans and technology doing the right things for technology," says Tom Agresta M.D., M.B.I., section leader for informatics at the Connecticut Institute for Primary Care Innovation, which designed the exhibit.

Story Highlights
  • The Office of the Future exhibit is designed to show how technology, space transformation and an altered workflow combine to better meet patients' care needs.
  • The exhibit will debut at the 2016 Family Medicine Experience next month in Orlando, Fla.
  • It is intended to highlight a philosophy of care that extends into people's homes and workplaces through use of mobile technologies, telemedicine and other tools.

The Office of the Future exhibit was created to give FMX attendees an understanding of how new technology and workflow ideas can help physicians improve the care they deliver to patients, as well as their own lives by improving work-life balance.

"Even though we are calling it the office of the future, we're thinking about this as not being constrained by walls," says Agresta. "It's not a physical location so much as it is a process and a philosophy of care that extends into people's homes and their workplaces and the places where they live their daily lives through use of mobile technologies and telemedicine and other sorts of tools."

The exhibit itself, Agresta says, will tell a story -- taking attendees step by step through various processes and aspects of care to show how technology, transformation of spaces and an altered workflow can all be used together to better meet the needs of the patient and clinical care team.

"The types of things we are displaying are in use at scale in some clinical settings already," Agresta says. "There's nothing we are going to display that is really so futuristic that it isn't actually being used. We purposely avoided those things."

The exhibit will focus on six different aspects of care:

  • Care Anywhere: The first pod explores the idea of how care can be delivered anywhere through the use of remote monitoring, telemedicine and other tools that can keep patients connected to their physicians even from patients' homes or workplaces.
  • Patient Engagement Center: The Office of the Future transforms the traditional waiting room into a patient engagement center where physicians can use the space to not only give patients an outlet to enter their own personal information into the electronic health record, but also to educate them about leading a healthy lifestyle.
  • Clinical Team Hub: This area rethinks the traditional office space to find new ways clinical teams can work together using technology to improve clinical decision support and information-sharing between team members.
  • Exam Room: Although the exam room still exists, this newly designed space focuses on how to incorporate technology to better communicate with patients and their families in a more comfortable space.
  • Population Health: This pod highlights the tools, processes and reorganized spaces that allow the clinical team to better identify gaps in care through population health management practices.
  • Personalized Consultation: The final pod reimagines the consultation area to place a greater focus on patients and their families, as well as to support telemedicine.

Agresta says he hopes visitors leave the exhibit with a revitalized sense of what the traditional physician's office can become and ideas they can begin implementing at their own offices.

"We are trying to show people directionally 'What can we do? What are the things you can start to work on today? What are the types of things you can do that will make this more of a reality in your near and not-so-distant future, and what it might look like, feel like and be experienced like from the patient and the provider perspective?'" he says.

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