Flip No. 50

Flip the script: “What’s your goal today?”

A simple question makes for a happier clinic.

By Austin Lab Participants

Developed at Flip the Clinic Lab: Austin

The first question patients are often asked when they walk into the clinic is, How are you going to pay? It’s a question that benefits the institution—while putting immediate distance between it and the patient. When the first interaction is transactional, it sets a cold tone for the entire visit.

Switching the payment question for a patient-focused one could kick start a powerful culture change in the clinic. By asking “What is your goal today?” clinics would be putting a patient’s needs first. When patients share their expectations immediately and they’re captured for the entire visit, the door opens for a meaningful dialogue.

To be truly successful, What’s your goal? needs to be the start of a more comprehensive culture shift that prioritizes the patient. With leadership on board, effective customer service should be wrapped into every decision from deciding on new hires to how patients are triaged. The goal is bigger than just patient satisfaction; What’s your goal today? aims for a medical space that feels deeply rewarding for everyone involved.



  • Eugenia Costin

    This is a great idea to find out what the patient’s feel that their goal is. It is the patient who needs help and should be part of the collaborative team by taking ownership of this goal, and is vested in the outcome. This patient will present their ideas, symptoms and plans for ways to get better. Instead of just being made to feel that they can only get the care they need if they have money and insurance. All health care professionals must help sick people in need and it is refreshing to have a patient who wants to take part in the process.