Flip the Clinic

Flip the Clinic

The Main Challenge

Healthcare is an imperfect system.  The patient-physician interaction during a visit to the doctor’s office is often short, impersonal, and a drain on time and financial resources.  Yet, this interaction is at the heart of healthcare.  Although it continues to be the essential hub for clinical care, the doctor’s office is a high-cost, high-resource encounter with surprisingly limited value and limited returns.

In September 2013 the question for conversation was, How can we “flip the clinic?” – rethink the routine doctor’s visit to be a more fruitful, more fulfilling part of health care?  After a year, the conversation has shifted to an open experiment, where the aim is to enlist hundreds of people nationwide in trying to see how we can improve the clinical encounter.

Primary Partners

  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

  • Reos Partners

  • Spaces for Change


What is Flip the Clinic?

Flip the Clinic is an open experiment to transform the patient-clinician experience. It is where patients and health practitioners improve medical care, together.


The Project

What would a flipped doctor’s office look like? What would a new doctor-patient encounter involve? Could there be other participants? How could we more effectively leverage the skills of other medical staff in the office as well as the support of family, friends and coworkers outside of it? Would we use video? What other resources can we tap to get more value out of the visit? And how do we bring this new approach to care providers and patients alike?


Key Activities

Flip the Clinic began with the radical idea that in order to dramatically shift the clinical encounter, we needed to hear it from everyone involved – patients, nurses, physicians, technicians, administrators – everyone.

  • Online comments and ideas are being used to revamp existing flips in order to make them even more impactful.
  • In 2015 a series of city events called Flip the Clinic Community Labs will bring together a diverse group of local community members in five locations (San Francisco, Austin, Miami, Durham and Minneapolis) who are involved in the health care system: patients, providers, nurses, clinicians.  These day-long, hands-on, collaborative workshops will give people a chance to learn and use new skills and tools, participate in the conversation, and explore how Flip the Clinic can impact themselves and their organizations. (To apply, visit http://fliptheclinic.org/events/)
  • The Community Forum takes place in the early evening after each event and will be an open space to share the activity and continue the discussion on flipping the clinic with our Community Lab participants, local public officials and community leaders.



The goal of Flip the Clinic is both to create a specific set of practices that can improve the medical encounter and to inspire others to invent new ways to get more out of the doctor’s visit, too.


What Participants Have Said

“Flip the Clinic is creating the possibility of a new system. It’s creating a critical moment next to the 20 minute office visit that can be incredibly powerful for the delivery of health care and health.”

e-Patient Dave deBronkart