children exiting buildingFocusing on a Community Oriented Primary Care model, the clinic facility needs to be seen and felt to be a welcoming part of the community. All aspects of health care – promotive, preventive, and curative – are based on getting people willingly into clinics.

That requires that the clinic be a safe and welcoming place, and that patients be treated with respect and caring by the clinic staff.

Typical attitudes in many clinics are that patients are an annoyance, to be told what to do and how to live their lives according to the dictates of staff biases and attitudes of superiority. Not only are suggestions placed in a suggestion box not acted on, but staff members may try to figure out who made the suggestion so that that person can be punished. Patients are shouted at for failure to comply with instructions instead of being helped to understand the instructions in the first place. Clinic staff may turn patients away if they appear to impose any perceived hardship on the staff. As a result, people often avoid the clinics unless they are in dire straits.

A major part of the solution is to help create engaging workplaces in these facilities.