Flip No. 66

Nametags Prompt More Meaningful Patient-Clinician Engagement

How visible prompts can kick off a powerful conversation.

By Andrea Ducas, Natasha Gajewski, Kaiya Harris, Trene Hawkins, Mike Painter, Eva Starrak, Paul Tarini

Developed at Flip the Clinic Lab: Princeton

When patients walk into a clinic, they may be seeing nurses and doctors they’ve never even met before. It can be uncomfortable for patients to jump into a dialogue with clinicians about their health problems when they lack an established rapport—and may not even know their nurse or physician’s name.

What if clinicians acknowledged how awkward these conversations can be by inviting patients to get to know them? Or by giving patients permission to speak about the goals and context of their visit? Outfitting clinicians with simple nametags could remind patients whom it is they’re actually seeing. The idea was inspired by the #HelloMyNameIs campaign in the UK, which encourages physicians to proactively introduce themselves as the first step in delivering compassionate care, and by Flip the Clinic’s own Lab nametags, designed by Volume Inc., which prompt participants to draw something that responds to a playful clinic-related question. In this Flip, by adding a considered prompt below it, like “What are your health goals?” or “What should I know about you that’s not in the EHR?” clinicians can promote conversations that help build relationships with patients quickly, so both patient and clinician get more out of their short time together.