Flip No. 31

Make better use of the patient’s time in the waiting room

Provide an opportunity to prepare for a clinical appointment.

By Flip the Clinic

Waiting time before a doctor’s appointment is often spent looking at a TV or a personal electronic device. This creates a perfect opportunity for intervention and preparation for the clinical visit. A tablet could offer educational materials or provide a patient the opportunity to review their last appointment in their electronic health record, to update contact information and notes from their last visit, or capture questions for the clinical team in advance of the appointment.



  • Anand Patel

    Healthy-TXT is a company which uses three platforms to engage and revolutionize a patients a time in a waiting room. Healthy-TXT creates automated, customized, text messages sent to the patient informing them about their disease process. In conjunction with the participating provider a customized home page is created with a multitude of media which the patient can browse on their smart phone, the link is sent immediately after the patient is registered so they can spend time during their wait to understand more about their disease or procedure. For more information visit http://www.healthy-txt.com

  • Thomas Hefner

    I think this is a great idea to improve the patient’s visits to the clinic. Giving them educational material on a tablet will help them to better understand things about their health and letting them review their last visit will let them see any progress. I intend to talk to administration about introducing this into their clinics as I believe it is a strong idea!

    • Whitney Bowman-Zatzkin

      Hi Thomas! We’d love to hear how your effort is going to introduce the tablet to the waiting room as a way to prepare for the appointment. When you have a moment, send me a note – whitney@fliptheclinic.org!

  • Ryan Sigle

    I really like your idea on the opportunity for intervention and preparation for the clinical visit.
    My team and I are looking into something along the same lines, but in the waiting room of surgical and cardiac catheterization patients. I have been conducting some research on “participatory healthcare” and I believe that the more patients are involved in their care, the more confidence they obtain, and the greater their anxieties fade. I think tablets would be a great tool for us
    to provide the patients in the waiting room. These tablets can be equipped with every procedure that we offer and provide educational information (power-points, videos, pre and post-op care,
    ect) so they know more of what to expect and hopefully walk through our doors with all questions answered. Then if questions remain, we can address them before patient care begins. I intend to talk with my leaders to see if we can push this into reality.

  • Kenny Madura

    I think this is a great idea. Working in the Pre op and Recovery Room areas, I can see where this could be a great tool. In our Pre admission department, where you come in a day or two before surgery to have blood drawn and a health history taken, we show an epidural video to our expecting mothers to help educate them on what to expect. This idea could be implemented in this area along those same lines. We could show a quick video on a tablet or PC showing the patient a quick overview of their surgery. Another example is showing the cath lab patients a video on their angiograms and differences between the different stents and balloons used during a procedure. We could then allow time to answer questions that may arise from the instructional videos. As information technology advances, this could become a reality which could ease anxiety and increase patient satisfaction scores.

  • Shelby Bradshaw

    I think this is a good idea. It allows the patient to be thinking about questions to ask the physician before they are in the room with the physician. Many times patients will forget to ask and remember after they left the appointment. With the wait time to get into appointments sometimes it could be months before they see the doctor again. By that time they have forgotten what they meant to ask. This also gives the patient the opportunity to update their contact information and to see notes from their last visit made. This allows the patient to become more involved with the care provided. If this type of stuff is taken care of before he patient goes into the room it may make the doctors visit flow quicker and more efficient.