Frequently Asked Qs

Where did the "Flip the Clinic" idea come from?

We were inspired by Sal Khan, the founder of Khan Academy. Early in 2013, Khan visited the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and explained the premise and power of Khan Academy. By putting simple, clear explanations of academic subjects in online videos, Khan Academy has reversed the normal flow of instruction and “flipped the classroom.” During his visit, the similarities between the classroom and the doctor’s office became obvious. We thought, why not Flip the Clinic the way Khan has flipped the classroom?

What, we wondered, would a flipped doctor’s office look like? What would a new doctor-patient encounter involve? Could there be other participants? How could we more effectively leverage the skills of other medical staff in the office as well as the support of family, friends and coworkers outside of it? Would we use video? What other resources can we tap to get more value out of the visit? And how do we bring this new approach to care providers and patients alike?

You can read more about the genesis of the idea here.

Why should the clinical visit change?

The doctor’s office (or clinic or other care setting) is where health care happens. It remains the essential hub for clinical care. But what occurs in that room isn’t exactly ideal—or even state-of-the-art. The clinician-patient encounter is fraught. Too cursory to be exhaustive (the infamous fifteen-minute median office visit), too infrequent to create an honest relationship (one or two visits a year at best), and too anonymous to be personal (the average primary care doc has more than 2,300 patients), appointments are a high-cost, high-resource encounter with surprisingly limited value and limited returns.

We can do better. We can leverage existing tools and knowledge to create a more symmetrical, more powerful point of care—while also extending provider and patient involvement beyond the walls of one office. Our goal is both to create a specific set of practices that can improve the medical encounter and to inspire others to invent new ways to get more out of the doctor’s visit, too.

I’m a care provider — how can I get involved?

You can help by sharing your thoughts. What do you think are some of the best parts of your interactions with patients? What are your pain points? What could we (the collective we) be doing better? Tell us. You can also comment on a Flip already posted or submit your own on the community page.

I’m a patient — how can I get involved?

If you’ve ever been a patient, you’re an expert! We want to hear from you. What drove you crazy about your last doctor’s visit? What did you wish you knew or had when you walked in the door? What about when you got home? Comment on a Flip here, or submit your own.

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