Flip No. 78

Audio-Record Clinic Visits

Providing doctors and patients with access to recordings of their visits can keep both parties on track.

By Thomas Goetz, John Griffin, Darcy Moody, Lori Shough, Jochen Strange

Developed at Flip the Clinic Lab: Minneapolis

As a patient, you’re given all sorts of information in a very short span of time: what your condition is, the long term implications, the treatment plan, what you’re allowed to do, what you’re not allowed to do, and it goes on from there. Furthermore, in the case of a surprising or upsetting diagnosis, the patient has to process their own reaction while absorbing important information about their health. It can be really difficult to hold onto all the information delivered by a clinician.

For clinicians, the time with a patient is far too compact to deliver every detail of a complex care strategy. Furthermore, no single handout addresses every unique patient case. Working in an electronic medical record, it can be hard to capture every single detail of patient cases at the end of the day, which often means breaking eye contact to log details of the visit in real-time.

Wouldn’t it be better if doctors recorded the conversations with their patients, so that both parties could access them later, on-demand?

With permission, physicians could record and upload these conversations in HIPAA-compliant files on the patient portals so that patients could have constant access to advice and follow-up instructions, in an effort to lessen patient confusion after visits. The clinicians could also revisit the recordings to refresh their memories of patient meetings, and to better prepare themselves for the next visit. These opt-in sessions could be a powerful tool for both patients and clinicians in the short term and in the future, since the recordings have the potential to improve treatment compliance.