UAB Medicine

June 15, 2012

The Next 20 Years—The Kirklin Clinic’s Vision for the Future

As the The Kirklin Clinic celebrates 20 years of patient care, research, and training future care providers, we look ahead to the Clinic’s goals for the next two decades and beyond.

1. Build a patient-centered care foundation
“Our patients and their families come first in everything we do,” says The Kirklin Clinic Chief Operating Officer Pamela M. White. “We are committed to improving our patients’ overall experience by practicing patient- and family-centered care. This means involving our patients and their families in their treatment—collaborating with them, educating them, and supporting them—in order to provide better outcomes.”

In order to continually improve the patient and family experience, The Kirklin Clinic has implemented patient surveys and formed the Patient- and Family-Centered Care Committee. “Recommendations from our patients and their families have led to improved patient communication, the addition of our coffee shop, and most recently hiring a full-time chaplain,” White says. “We are also launching digital signage in waiting areas to help patients become more educated, active participants in their care. As The Kirklin Clinic evolves our practice, it is our patients and families who we are looking toward to drive the way.”

2. Practice with an interdisciplinary approach
The Kirklin Clinic is continually reorganizing to provide better, more centralized care from interdisciplinary team members. Most recently, UAB opened the Breast Health Clinic to treat all aspects of care, from medical to spiritual needs, for patients battling breast cancer. In July of 2012, the Clinic will move Gastrointestinal Medicine and Surgery into the same space to create an interdisciplinary area, allowing patients to experience seamless care from each of their providers.

“The Digestive Health Center will provide comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for gastrointestinal disorders by a team of dedicated gastroenterologists and surgeons,” says Chief of Gastrointestinal Surgery Mary T. Hawn, MD.

3. Run on physician power
The Kirklin Clinic is a physician-led company and looks to its physician practice plan to deliver cutting-edge care and remain a leader in its field. The physician practice plan allows The Kirklin Clinic to offer superior patient care and group practice in an academic environment, as well as establish funding for program development. The Kirklin Clinic continues to advance its practice, recruiting gifted residents every year. Several Clinic specialties, including  Rheumatology; Nephrology; Pulmonology; Urology; Neurology and Neurosurgery; Ear, Nose, and Throat; and Gastroenterology, were ranked among the nation’s top 50 in U.S.News & World Report 2011 ‘America’s Best Hospitals’ issue and many of UAB’s 291 Best Doctors in America practice at The Kirklin Clinic.

4. Provide care for every condition. 
From flu shots to organ transplants, The Kirklin Clinic provides care for a wide breadth of health conditions, and continues to evolve. “We have continued to build upon Dr. John Kirklin’s vision of an efficient, state-of-the art medical facility where all ambulatory medical services are provided in one venue," says Health System Foundation Executive Vice President Reid Jones. "The Kirklin Clinic has been not only an important addition to the facilities at UAB, but has had a significant impact on the entire city. We are grateful to Dr. Kirklin and all of the physicians for the excellent care that our patients receive.”

5. Search for and instill knowledge
The Kirklin Clinic has long been on the forefront of medical discovery, as it is home to hundreds of research studies each year. Our trials focus on health issues in every discipline, and many offer exciting opportunities for patients who want to participate in ground-breaking treatments. The Kirklin Clinic also advances the spectrum of health knowledge for future practitioners as a site for many clinical rotations in the UAB medical school's doctoral and residency programs. In this way, The Kirklin Clinic carries out every aspect of UAB Medicine’s tripartite mission of clinical care, research, and education.