The benefits of having a clinic attached to an elementary school might seem obvious: pediatric care in a location where kids and parents gather daily. However, a set of pediatric preventive care outposts attached to schools in the Raleigh-Durham area opened in 2015 with high hopes of serving the needs of an estimated 5,000 underserved children, has barely experienced buy in. Organizers realized that to bring in kids, you really need to bring in parents. Mailing informational fliers to the homes of children in the area turned out to be ineffective, as did connecting with community organizations.
Instead of waiting for busy parents to initiate health care check-ins for their children, why not change the way we approach to parental consent? Every child has a prescribed set of annual wellness check ups and immunizations. Since clinics know each child should have these check ups, these school-based locations could improve impact by getting parental pre-consent at the start of each school year instead of hoping parents will reach out. Making the ask of parents earlier would mean that more children are on a path to receive the basic care they need, when they need it.
What does a pilot test of this Flip look like to you? Are you ready to put your plan in action? Become a pilot site and join this Flip team!