Simulation Center User Experience Before IT Systems Deployment

Currently, the development of new IT initiatives, to include the design of the iEHR, involves many telephone conferences and meetings that result in the building of requirements. These requirements then drive contracting, with functional/technical integration and deployment performed in a “live” clinical care environment. At this time, there is no test bed for clinical systems that mimics true clinical practice prior to widespread implementation with flaws found only after deployment.

Virtual desktop and virtual applications offer the promise of core clinical software (CHCS, AHLTA, Essentris) on non-traditional devices to include mobile devices and inexpensive hardware. A large justification for virtualization is the reduced cost of hardware devices. There currently is no testing of this software on devices to ensure the user experience is comparable to current desktop devices. Furthermore, there is no evaluation program for the evaluation of software performance on non-traditional devices (tablet computers and phone-sized portable devices).

We propose deploying and studying use of newly designed “virtual” software (Army ACAV and MHS AVHE with core clinical systems) in a simulation center to test the deployment of this software in a clinical environment with several different hardware configurations (including tablet computers and small screen wi-fi devices). Deployment of virtualized software into a simulated clinical environment allows investigation of the different use cases, workflows, and performance of these new hardware and software options. This would allow for iterative improvement prior to deployment. This would also allow for deployment of new software such as ACAV or AVHE with software, workflow, and hardware optimization already performed. This could also serve as a pilot for future optimization of the iEHR and how we could organizationally integrate these capabilities from a clinical workflow, policy and technical system integration perspective.

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