What You Want From A Flipped Clinic

Rachel SwabyBy

For months, good ideas have been pouring into our inbox. While we’ve been getting ready to reveal our first series of flips, patients, providers, and administrators have been emailing in to offer their own ideas. We learned about particular pain points—what parts of the clinic drive people crazy and what might be done about them. We heard about existing programs and new innovations.

We finally have a way for conversations to happen openly in the Flip the Clinic community (check out our community page), but we certainly wouldn’t want to lose the great suggestions already logged. Here’s a small selection of ideas from our inbox.

What patients want:
* Better communication between their care providers
* Better access to resources like community support groups
* Electronic medical record systems that communicate with each other

Flip the order:
* Several people suggested getting tests done before a patient sees a provider, so time in the clinic can be used for discussion and shared decision-making.
* Patient education tools should be delivered before the visit, perhaps via an app or online. During the visit, care providers should reaffirm what patients learned on their own.
* A patient’s medical history can be filled out online before a visit
* Care for chronic conditions should happen at home

Changing roles and environments:
* Nurses have the training to take on more, and they should be encouraged to do so. RNs should have standing orders to give immunizations and treat conditions like lice without a physician being present.
* The patient should serve as the team leader in their own care
* Group visits
* Healthcare information dissemination in non-clinical environments (Example: Food trucks that give out information packets on general health and specific conditions)
* Home visits. The doctor becomes the visitor.
* Basic information delivery via iOS or Android. Physicians can record the advice that gets the most mileage and deliver it to the patient’s mobile device.

More technology:
* Audio and Video technologies should be used in patient-provider interactions to help patients remember complicated treatment plans
* Telemedicine should be used to connect far away specialists with patients who need them
* Videos, blogs, and other online content should be used to improve medication adherence for those with chronic diseases.
* Patient-friendly informational videos (This one, made by a mother and her severely allergic son, we found especially charming.)
* Let computers take over some of the office busy work to ease the strain on the clinic staff.

Photo: Erich Ferdinand

  • Kelly Brittain

    I think the idea about getting information to the patient prior to the visit is very important. Often, health care providers are asking patients to read, understand, and make a decision in one visit. In 20 minutes or less. This is certainly not enough time to make a decision about something you have never heard of or had a bad experience with (personally or family member). Informed decision making is my area of research and many times health care providers and patients don’t have the time to talk about what the patient already knows or has heard about an illness or test. Patients are not blank slates.