New Cook Children’s Trophy Club Integrates Patients’ Ideas

Each aspect of the new facility is intended to speed the appointment process and deliver better care.


If you wanted to build the best clinic possible for patients, how would you design it?

Why not let the patient do the designing themselves?

Next spring, I will open Cook Children’s Trophy Club, as a “pediatric clinic built by your ideas.”

There will be many features that came as a result of designing the clinic based on this process.

The Process

Start by asking patients on social media what they might like to see in their clinic.

Ask question about the physical space, the service offerings and the culture of the office. Really, you should ask anything you can think of. Engage with patients as they respond. Dive deeper into their responses. Between their ideas and your expertise, see if you can’t come up with the concept that doesn’t just satisfy their wishes but completely wows. Recruit a design panel of engaged followers. Go to them regularly with specific questions as a group so that their ideas can build on one another. Provide feedback all along the way. Show them where their ideas will be implemented. Tell them why great ideas weren’t quite ready or when they might be used in the future.

The Answers

The answers will vary across specialty, patient population, location and for many other reasons but some common themes will emerge: Quality medical care, Compassion and empathy, Convenience in office design, Efficiency in processes, Ease of access (for visit and communication)

The Product

In the physical design, the small waiting room and extra exam rooms will facilitate private waiting in a room that can accommodate the entire visit (no more walking your naked baby down to the scale). The patient bathroom in the back will have a toilet-training-size potty (because it’s obvious, but I never would have thought of it). The newborn room in the back will have extra room for the nursing glider and its own temperature control, as well as access to a virtual lactation consultant, on-demand.

In the service offerings, patients will have ready access to their doctor or nurse via secure messaging (during and after hours).  Certain visits can be completed via telemedicine with your doctor during the day, or by a virtual call group in the evening and on weekends. Ear exams can be completed with your phone and sent in for evaluation without an office visit.

In the culture of the office, staff will be expected to show empathy from the first time you call for an expectant parent consult until you are on your way out the door for the last time after your 18-year-old checkup, and for the ear infections, rashes and runny noses in between. The office will be a fun place where your child’s and your experience is placed as a top priority.

The questions that remain:

If you design an office as a “pediatric clinic built by your ideas,” will patients want to choose to be a part? Will patients be happier about their choice? Will patients receive better care? What ideas will they have next and how will we implement them?

Together, we’ll answer these questions and more, and we can’t wait to see what ideas our patients come up with next.

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R E A D   N E X T

Dr. Justin Smith is the Director for Primary Care Innovation for Cook Children’s and the Medical Director for Cook Children’s Innovate Pediatric Clinic in Trophy Club. Read more about pedi(...)