Flip No. 37

Align patient and clinician goals

Checking in with an iPad to bridge the communication gap

By Flip the Clinic

Developed at Flip the Clinic Lab: Phoenix

In a single clinic visit, there are any number of moments where communication between and clinician and patient can slip out of harmony. Intentions may change between the time a patient makes an appointment and the time they show up for it. In the limited time in the exam room, patients may not feel like the clinician is addressing their needs. Understanding about a condition or treatment plan may be feel incomplete or be misunderstood.

A quick electronic survey before, during, and after a clinic visit could seamlessly align intentions and understanding. The patient would kick it off by answering a short questionnaire about the purpose of the visit, which would help guide the appointment. In the clinic, the patient and the clinician would both answer a brief question about the goal of the visit on an iPad, where a program would check their alignment. If the responses didn’t match up, the clinician would be notified electronically, so that they could help steer the visit back to its intended purpose. Immediately post-visit, clinician and patient would be asked the same question again. Discord here would prompt a clinician to get back in touch with the patient to see what could be done to meet the patient’s needs. With feedback loops created by data integrated into the electronic medical record, iPad check ins could also improve future visits.

This electronic check in will shore up communication by reducing missed opportunities for engagement, laying out the foundation for a trusting relationship based on shared goals.